The Fort Campbell Courier

Fort Campbell joins HealthierUS School Challenge

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 6:00 pm

Good nutrition begins at home and must continue at school.

To improve our children’s school lunches, Fort Campbell Schools teamed up with registered dietitians at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. All nine schools committed to making Fort Campbell children healthier by applying to the HealthierUS School Challenge.

The HUSSC is a voluntary certification established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

There are different levels of awards, from gold to bronze, based on criteria met. In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the “Let’s Move!” initiative, incorporating the HUSSC into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids.

The Fort Campbell school district understands  schools play an important role in helping to reduce childhood obesity.

BACH has been working with each school to develop action plans to accomplish their health and wellness goals, as well as with Jarrett Rogers, the school district food service director to implement change.

The HUSSC criteria include several different areas of wellness.

These include but are not limited to:

• School breakfast and lunch offerings;

• Foods sold outside of the school meal programs (such as in vending machines and à la carte);

• Average daily participation in breakfast and lunch;

• Nutrition education;

• Physical education;

• Opportunities for physical activity; and

• School wellness policies and practices.

Currently all of the schools on post are meeting all of the criteria for the distinguished gold award except for one area – daily participation in breakfast and lunch.

The schools have put forth a lot of effort in cleaning up their menus to meet and exceed the USDA standards for health and wellness.

If children are not eating the healthy school meals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cannot ensure the children are eating healthy at all. If the number of children eating at school increases, Fort Campbell schools will be the first in  Kentucky to achieve the gold award, making vast strides toward wellness.

If the daily participation does not increase, the schools will get the bronze award. This honor is still prestigious, yet here at Fort Campbell we want to go for the gold!

The Fort Campbell school district knows by promoting healthy behaviors, schools can increase students’ capacity to learn, reduce absences and improve physical fitness and mental alertness.

Parents are encouraged to inquire about the new changes in schools on post and be active in the health of your children. Support the HealthierUS School Challenge by asking your children to eat the provided healthy school breakfast or lunch.

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