We've spent the past year blogging about all kinds of important topics: green cleaning, healthy eating, recess, the changing role of school nurses and the enduring power of individuals to make a difference. We've shared opinions. We've shared recipes. (We hope your Banana Bites were as much of a hit as ours were!) We've shared big news from Washington about the future of school food. And perhaps most importantly, we've shared community. We've welcomed new readers into the HSC community and sustained relationships with longtime readers of this blog. We're grateful, as always, for your support.
Here, thanks to you, are the top 10 most popular blog posts of 2010.
On April 23, 2010, Iowa’s governor signed legislation passed by the Iowa General Assembly requiring public schools, community colleges, institutions under control of the state board, and state agencies to comply with an environmentally preferable cleaning and maintenance policy. This is a victory for safe, healthy schools in this Midwest state and one step closer to making green cleaning the norm in schools.
HSC is pleased to support The Children's Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009, a bill introduced in December by Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Adam Putnam (R-FL). The Children's Fruit and Vegetable Act could make a real difference in ensuring access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables starting in elementary school, when kids are first developing healthy habits.
We all know that kids love pancakes. But how about a pancake with a surprise inside? That makes it even better. I got this recipe from Weelicious, and it’s a winner for big and small alike.
With every barrier comes the opportunity to overcome it. McCormick Elementary School, a Chicago public school, recognized the importance of physically active students and decided to implement recess. Like many schools, they dealt with obstacles: time, budgetary concerns, and safety hazards -- but they succeeded in making recess a regular part of the school day.
As concerns over childhood obesity and diabetes continue to increase, it is more important than ever for students to make physical activity a part of their daily lives. Physical activity during the school day not only keeps kids healthier, but also helps them academically and socially. Unfortunately, even though the benefits of physical activity in schools are clear, in this era of standardized testing and No Child Left Behind, physical education is rarely made a priority.
Sarah Elizabeth Ippel grew up in Grand Rapids surrounded by people who looked “exactly like me.” After going to grad school in England, where she did a dissertation in early childhood education, she was awed to discover the richness of being surrounded by people from other races and backgrounds. She visited 100 schools in 70 countries over the next decade, and in 2002 settled in Chicago because of its ethnic diversity. In 2004 the city announced the Renaissance 2010 plan and the call for opening 100 new schools by 2010. Ippel proposed an innovative contract school aiming to make students “global citizens” and incorporate the International Baccalaureate program she was so impressed by in schools from Kenya to Venezuela.
I've now watched the full season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and I must admit that the show mesmerized me. Yes, it is reality TV. Yes, much of the drama was manufactured. And I have to admit: the dramatic music drove me nuts. But fundamentally, Jamie educated, motivated and possibly angered millions (or at least 519,000 at the last count) of people about the condition and importance of school food.
Jamie: While you don't know me, I already feel like I know you pretty well, thanks to your cookbook, television shows and activism. I'd like to take a moment and thank you for the great work you've done and applaud what I hope to be a change of course in the health of our country.
The kids come home from school, and the first thing they want is a snack. Sound familiar? It can be easy (or at least not too difficult!) to keep your kids’ meals healthy when you cook them yourself, but when it comes to mid-day and late-night snacks, it can become tedious to figure out nutritious -- and tasty -- ideas. For kids and adults alike, many of us have a particular type of snack attack that hits. Some crave salty foods, some crave sweets, and some just want something crunchy. Here are some fast, family-friendly snack ideas organized into snack-attack category, so that you can hit the snack craving with something both satisfying and healthy. Happy snacking!
Now that winter has set in, school nurses are as busy as ever caring for students with colds or flu. But, year-round, school nursing is so much more -- nurses care for students with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma, as well as students with disabilities. They’re also leading the way in making health-promoting changes throughout the school.
Happy New Year from all of us at HSC!