Gayle Moghannam spent many enjoyable days volunteering in her daughter’s class at Walt Disney elementary School in San Ramon, California and sometimes she stayed for lunch. She would see the meals as not being aligned with the healthy food she was serving at home. Gayle realized that this might be her opportunity to speak up on behalf of the school’s students. Using resources from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the leading national non-profit com- bating childhood obesity, Gayle is leading her school wellness council and serves as a driving force for healthy changes across the district. Here are three simple questions you can ask to find out if your child’s school is creating a healthy environment.
Are there options for daily physical activity?
Ask about formal physical education (PE), minutes of recess, and physical activity breaks through- out the day. The Alliance recommends at least 20 minutes of recess every day and 60 minutes of PE per week for elementary school students and at least 90 minutes of PE each week for middle school.
Are healthy meals, snacks and beverages available? Check out the school vending machine and lunch lines. Confirm that healthy options such as water and prepackaged fruit are available and whether fruits and vegetables are served as part of the school meals and after school snacks.
How can i help?
Become part of the team. Is there a school wellness council or committee that consults with faculty, administrators, parents and students? Find out if you can help support the group or serve on the council yourself.
Thanks to support from companies like Sam’s Club, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers hundreds of resources and expert advice at no cost for anyone interested in building a healthy school campus. Join the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program at HealthierGeneration.org today.