How to be a healthy school

Healthy Northland helps create health where we live, work, learn and play. Little by little schools are making changes to create a healthy environment for youth. Elementary schools in Koochiching County, Keewatin, Moose Lake, and Esko all participated in an active classroom study.  Young students in Two Harbors swapped sweet treats to provide warm feet during a sock drive around Halloween. And children in Grand Marais are eating fresh vegetables in January!

Schools all over the country are increasingly seeing the benefits of a comprehensive wellness policy that supports a healthy school environment. Research clearly demonstrates that attendance and academic performance are closely linked to good nutrition and physical activity; simply put healthy active kids learn better.

Many schools are taking a comprehensive look at the following steps and strategies:

Healthy Eating
Increase access and availability of healthy food in schools through the following activities:
☐ Working on engagement or assessment, activities to be determined
Farm to School
☐ School-based agriculture
Healthy snacks outside of the school day through vending, concessions, school stores or snack carts
Healthy school fundraisers
☐ Healthy snacks during the school day through celebrations, special events or non-food rewards.
Smarter Lunchroom techniques through such behavioral economic activities including, but not limited to competitive pricing, product enhancements

Active Living
Increase availability of physical activity in schools through:
☐ Working on engagement or assessment, activities to be determined
☐ Quality Physical Education (curriculum review, new physical education content, lengthening classes)
☐ Active recess
Active classrooms
☐ Before and/or after school through physical activity opportunities (intramurals, physical activity clubs, integration with school child-care, offering open gym opportunities)
Safe Routes to School (walking school bus, Walk!Bike!Fun! curriculum, walking and biking route plans).

Contact your local Statewide Health Improvement Partnership coordinator to learn more.