Dallas Teaching Garden Champion attends the White House Easter Egg Roll

24 Apr

Special congrats to our Teaching Garden champion at Moss Haven Elementary, Kim Aman, for being invited to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll. The garden ( or as Moss Haven likes to call it, the MHE Farm) is an oasis of healthy learning in the Dallas, TX area. Their hard work growing goodness and hatching healthiness paid off when the first lady invited them to the annual White House Easter celebration. Read about their adventure in this excerpt from their blog.

That’s right.., Farmer Aman was invited to the White House for this annual event that has been going on for 136 years. This year’s theme fit right into the movement that we have going on at our school, Hop Into Healthy – Swing Into Shape. The South Lawn became a playground for 30,000 guests and we were lucky enough to be a part of it all!

Movement, fitness, nutrition and children’s health and wellness was the theme. Our school farm and wellness program at Moss Haven align with this incredible National movement and fortunately, we are creating a program that teaches kids about making better choices and thinking about their healthiness. If you teach this to young ones, you can create change.

We have learned that farming builds community and helps to create a network of support. Using that network, we were able to meet Sam Kass, the White House chef. We were also able to share with him what we are doing to help grow healthy kids at our school.

We’re so proud of the Moss Haven gardeners for their tremendous success! Read the full story on their blog.

More:

Watch CBS 11′s news coverage of Moss Haven’s Elementary White House invite.

Virtual tour of the Moss Haven Farm

Learn to Save a Child’s Life with new online CPR and First Aid Class

18 Apr

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In schools, we have a plan for fires, severe weather, and other emergencies. They’re routine and practiced. But what if disaster strikes in a way we’re not ready for?  With more than 9.2 million children being treated by emergency departments for injuries, being able to respond quickly and effectively is an essential skill for anyone who cares for an infant or child.

We’re excited to announce that now everyone can be ready to save a life with the American Heart Association’s new online training on first aid and resuscitation.

Using real-life scenarios and interactive lessons, the self-paced, two-and-a-half-hour course teaches people to manage infants’ or children’s medical emergencies until professional help arrives. It covers critical skills for treating:

  • allergic reactions
  • asthma
  • bleeding and bandaging
  • cardiac or respiratory arrest
  • choking
  • diabetes and low blood sugar
  • drowning
  • dehydration
  • head, neck, and spine injuries
  • seizure
  • temperature-related issues

More:

Elementary Teacher Saves 5 year old’s Life after Collapse at School

CPR in schools continues momentum

Stand with Parents! Tell the USDA You Support Eliminating Junk Food Marketing in Schools.

3 Apr

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Kids spend most of their time in schools — so doesn’t it make sense that we work to make sure the school environment is the healthiest it can be?

Numerous studies have shown that when kids are healthy, they perform better in school. That’s why we were thrilled when the USDA implemented stronger nutrition guidelines for school meals — and we are excited to see them do the same for snacks and drinks, too!

But did you know the food environment in school isn’t just limited to the food and drinks sold on campus? Right now, food companies market unhealthy food and beverages to students in a variety of ways at school, from posters in the hallways to displays on the vending machines to branded educational materials.

For example, two-thirds of elementary schools offer incentive programs that give kids coupons to fast food restaurants for completing academic work. All told, companies spend about $150 million every year marketing directly to students in schools!

That undermines parents who want to instill healthy habits in their kids. It also sends the wrong message about good nutrition to our nation’s young people.

Students spend more than 1,000 hours in school each year. That time should be spent learning and building educational habits, not being targeted by unhealthy marketing.

Fortunately, the USDA is now taking steps to ensure all schools become healthier places to learn. Raise your voice and let them know you support this important effort!

Study Finds that School Gardens Help Kids get Active

25 Mar

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Great news! A recently study by Cornell University found that school gardens help kids be more physically active. By the end of the study, kids at schools with gardens were moderately physically active at school for 10 more minutes a week than before their schools had gardens. That is four times more active than children at gardenless schools! What’s more, children who gardened at school were substantially less sedentary at home and elsewhere outside of school.

The researchers found that on average, children sat for 84 percent and stood for 10 percent during a typical indoor class. However during garden lessons, kids moved about much more, sitting for only 15 percent of the time, with the majority of their time spent standing, walking and kneeling.

Read more about this study and check out the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity in children.

Spring into Action: Western States Edition

18 Mar

Our Western States affiliate is wasting no time getting back into the garden. Kathy Rogers, American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Executive Vice President shared this story on her blog The WSA Exchange.

Though you might not know it from some of the crazy weather going on around the country – spring has definitely sprung in the Western States in the form of Teaching Gardens. Santiago Elementary School became home to one of 12 Teaching Gardens in Orange County, CA, provided with funding support from The California Endowment. Students, parents and teachers worked hand-in-hand to build planter boxes, fill them up with soil and plant vegetable and fruit seedlings — including strawberries, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce and a variety of herbs. Each school is funded for three years during which they are preparing to be self-sufficient to maintain a sustainable garden.

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Kids at Crestwood Elementary in Las Vegas, NV, also got their hands dirty while planting and learning about health. On hand to help were School Principal Jackie Richardson, Chair of the Teaching Gardens Executive Leadership Committee; Aurora Buffington of the Southern Nevada Health District; Las Vegas division Board of Directors member Judah Zakalik, along with faculty and community members. It looks like a good time was had by all!

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Click here to continue reading about the great heart healthy happenings in the Western States!

Kelly Meyer Nominated for Real Food Innovator Award

12 Mar

Special congrats to our fearless leader and co-founder, Kelly Meyer on her nomination for the United States Healthful Food Council’s Childhood Nutrition Food Innovator award. REAL Food innovator awards celebrate leaders in the promotion of healthful and sustainable foods.  Join us in wishing Kelly good luck in the comments! Go Kelly Go!

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Other nominees include:

  • Diane Schmidt, Founder, Healthy Fare for Kids
  • Shazi Visram, Founder and CEO, Happy Family
  • Chef Tyler Florence, Co-founder, Sprout Foods
  • Catherine McCord, Author
  • Dr. Alan Greene
  • Chef Jamie Oliver
  • Kirsten Tobey and Kristin Richmond, Founders, Revolution Foods

Congrats to all these nutrition warriors! Thank you for fighting to make our world happier and healthier.

Kale Yeah!

7 Mar

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Have you ever tried Kale chips? Third graders at Garfield Elementary in Long Beach, CA used produce from their teaching garden to make this crunchy healthy snack.  Classes harvested the kale, washed leaves, shredded , mixed in seasoning, and prepared them for the cafeteria oven.  120 students participated and enjoyed tasting kale!

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How to Make Kale Chips:

  • Wash and dry leaves with a towel
  • Tear into bite-sized pieces
  • Drizzle with a little oil and black pepper.
  • Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

Read more about the health benefits of kale. 

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