While some might think that Chicagoans are only passionate about sports and pizza, they’re mistaken. In fact, lately it seems that residents of the Second City are as jazzed about the food their children eat at school as they are about their Bulls and Bears.
Case in point: a recent breakfast event to discuss ways to make schools and school meals healthier which was hosted by Healthy Schools Campaign and attracted over 40 principals and around 200 parents!
At the event, parents and principals talked about ways they’d made their schools healthier—from holding recess to serving fresh fruits and vegetables. And then USDA’s Audrey Rowe discussed the First Lady’s Let’s Move! effort with an excited group of community members—some of whom represent schools that have already made healthy changes. In fact, fifteen school principals submitted their applications for USDA’s Healthier US Challenge gold award to Audrey and other officials.
In addition to encouraging more parents and principals to get involved, Audrey lauded Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and locally-based Healthy Schools Campaign for launching the city’s Go for the Gold campaign. The effort seeks to have 100 city schools qualify for USDA’s Healthier US Challenge gold award. As part of that effort, CPS revised its food menus and made other changes.
Schools are ground zero in USDA’s efforts to improve the health and nutrition of Americans, and parents and principals are lynchpins to success, so Audrey and I were happy to have the chance to talk about ways to make more improvements and to celebrate early successes.
Chicago’s sports teams may or may not have winning seasons, but it’s apparent that the city’s schools and principals are on a winning track when it comes to improving health and nutrition in school meals.
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