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How do you define a healthy school day?

Schools, parents, teachers, communities ... we're all working together to make the school day healthy for learners of all ages. But what does that mean: a healthy school day? And what challenges do we face in achieving it? 

Let's hash out a group definition for "healthy school day", and a working list of challenges we face, from personal (ex: it's difficult to pack a healthy lunch) to structural (ex: our school still hosts junky fundraisers!).

All answers are welcome! Having a tough time with creative lunch ideas, or finding ways for your to kids burn off some energy after a long day? Share in the comments below! We'll compile responses and resources through this post and the Good Food Force group. Together, we're an amazing source of ideas and knowledge. 

We're excited for your thoughts! Thank you!!

 

Announcing the Good Food Force #BacktoSchool Contest

Wow! The amazing tips and advice being shared in the #GoodFoodForce #BacktoSchool Facebook Group provide more than enough sustenance to get us through the back to school season. But let's take it to the next level and have even more fun! We're excited to launch the first #GoodFoodForce contest, below!

Contest includes the chance to define what a "healthy school day" means to you, in the comment section below.  

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Discover What's New With Healthy Schools And How Parents Can Help! #FoodFri

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With the 2015-2016 school year commencing, we're excited to Discover What's New With Healthy Schools And How Parents Can Help!

Join #FoodFri on September 4, 2015, at 1pm, Eastern, to kick-off the MomsRising Good Food Force Back to School Challenge. We'll be joined by the @USDA and Bettina of @TheLunchTray as we chat about healthy school meals and the power of Moms and Dads.

Start the school year off strong, as we share how YOU can become a powerful force in children's health, while celebrating the successes we've had thus far. It's going to be lively so don't miss it!

Feel free to also invite a friend by clicking below... because as my son always says, "Sharing is caring." 

5 Tips to Help Students Avoid School Stress and Improve Academic Success

It’s here! Students have officially gone back to school. The initial back to school glee felt by Moms and students alike may have already started ebbing and been replaced by incredible juggling acts. Homework, studying and hectic schedules are just some of the balls being held up in the air during this time. And, stress. Stress has replaced the glee.

With studies showing stress levels directly affect school performance, it’s important that parents arm their children with tools to stay calm when the demanding pressures of school hit.

Below I've listed 5 Tips to Help Students Avoid School Stress and Improve Academic Success that have helped me tremendously with my own two sons.

 

1. Get enough sleep:

Sacramento! Come Get Fed with Early Ed!

Calling all Sacramento MomsRising Members!

Bring the kiddos and come connect with MomsRising as we munch on bagels and coffee and chat about early learning and healthy foods in California and beyond. Later this month we will be reminding our Washington, DC leaders that quality and affordable early learning programs set our kids up for success, so come write a message, share your story, or have the littlest learners draw a picture to mail out to Washington. Don't have much to say? That's ok! Come connect with other moms and have a cup of coffee on us! We will be meeting at the Sierra2Center's playground alongside the River City Babywearers weekly Coffee & Carry event, so come walk, ride, stroll, or carry over with your tiny tots and meet some other local moms!

Date: Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Time: 10:30am-12:30pm

Place: Sierra2Center Playground, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento CA 95818

Who: Moms, Dads, Family Member, Kids- YOU! 

Coloring for a Cause!

It’s the dog days of summer and the kids are getting restless. MomsRising to the rescue!  

We have an easy and powerful end of summer activity for the kids. It’s simple: just ask your kids, grandkids, and pint sized charges to color encouraging messages that support affordable, high quality early learning and childcare for all—like “Keep going for a bright future” from our Miles Ahead for Early Learning coloring activity book—and we will personally deliver their colorful artwork to members of Congress in September.

*Get your free, fun, and high impact coloring activities here!

What for? In just a few weeks MomsRising members and their kids will gather on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C. to urge U.S. Senators and Representatives to invest in early learning programs, like childcare and pre-k! This is a way for you to be directly represented in D.C. without actually being there in person.

Why WIC is an Essential Program for Moms and Families

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps around 8.2 million women and their families access healthy foods, health care, nutrition education, and breastfeeding assistance and advice. WIC is an incredibly helpful and successful program for struggling moms and their families. The National WIC Association states that numerous studies show that WIC is effective and helps reduce premature births, fetal and infant deaths, increases access to prenatal care earlier in pregnancy, increases immunization rates, and improves diet quality, including reducing rates of childhood obesity.

Moms to Your Stations: Five ways to support healthy schools this year!

I’ll admit I’m a little weepy about the start of a new school year. My young kids are growing like weeds, and I’m not sure what happened to the month of August. But even if you’re on the teary-eyed end of the Back to School spectrum (like me), there are some big reasons to celebrate! Schools are working hard to provide yummy meal and snack options for kids, that are good for them too. And as parents we have a tremendous opportunity to get involved in making the school day a healthy one. To your stations! Here are five ways you can support healthy schools this year: 
 
1. CHEERLEAD HEALTHY MEALS AND SNACKS
I think parents can agree: healthy meals for our kids make sense. And thanks to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools are now offering healthy meals and snacks. School lunch and breakfast now include more fruits, vegetables and whole grain-rich foods; only fat-free or low-fat milk; “right-sized” meals with portions designed for a child’s age; and less saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.

10 Tips For A Great Kindergarten Year

I’m sad to say this year I don’t have a child in Kindergarten but I consider myself an expert since I have taught the grade for several years and I know the expectations of the children, parents, and teachers. It’s such a sweet grade because many children haven’t been to school prior to this experience and they’re all so innocent and excited. Yet, it can be a stressful experience for everyone involved so below I've listed 10 Tips For A Great Kindergarten Year.

 

1. Plan to take the day off for your child – I’m not sure how it works in your district but in my experience, there is a “weaning process” in which children start off with half days that lead into full days. Whether your child is starting the year all-in or with shorter days, I would definitely consider taking their first day of school off of work to help your child transition smoothly. 

Your Guide to Antibiotic-free Lunchboxes

 

As kids return to school this September, discussions of school lunch nutrition leave me thinking that the best option, really, to ensure children receive healthy lunches is by packing them at home. A sandwich, some fruits and veggies, a healthy treat: that’s what I got in my lunch box way back when, and that’s what I'd want my kids to eat, too.

But when I think ‘healthy,’ I’m not just considering the nutrition label – I’m thinking about long-term health, as well. That’s why it’s so important to me that I buy meat raised without routine antibiotics.

Why worry about the use of antibiotics on poultry and livestock? In a word, superbugs; the quick-and-dirty word for antibiotic-resistant infections, which are increasingly on the rise. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health organization have both warned that quite soon, these infections could kill more people than cancer.

Let’s jump back: what does this have to do with meat? The good news is, it’s not necessarily the meat itself that’s the problem. Rather, it’s the practices we use to raise that meat.

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