On Wednesday, October 30th, students from Magnolia Elementary School, joined First Lady Michelle Obama, Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita, the Produce Marketing Association, and the Partnership for a Healthier America for an announcement about marketing healthier foods to children. The announcement came on the heels of the first ever White House convening on food marketing to children, during which Mrs. Obama called on stakeholders to leverage the power of marketing to promote healthy products and decrease the marketing of unhealthy products to kids.
Following the announcement, Mrs. Obama, Elmo and Rosita and the children participated in the annual fall harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden. Magnolia was invited because they are one of a number of schools that offer healthy snack options. Starting next school year, all schools will be required to follow the “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, making vending machines and a la carte lines healthier.
Magnolia Elementary School is a Healthier US Schools Challenge bronze recipient. The school has made great strides in improving their school meals by ensuring that all competitive foods sold on the cafeteria line meet the requirements for the Healthier US Schools Challenge. Additionally, Magnolia Elementary participates in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program through the USDA, which introduces school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. As part of their afternoon routine, the school reports that students have become “adventurous eaters” and try different fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Magnolia also participates in Maryland Meals for Achievement, which is an innovative classroom breakfast project that offers school breakfast in the classroom each morning at no cost to students, regardless of family income. The school also participates in a Harvestable School Garden program where students and parents participate in the harvesting of the garden, and vegetables from the garden are incorporated in their school lunches. As part of the program, students in grades 2, 3, and 4 participate in monthly nutrition lessons. As a result of these initiatives, Magnolia has seen an increase in student readiness for school and rigorous work.
There is a new trail in town! Thanks to the efforts of Ronnie Walls and Eric Cooks, the new Harford Community College trail runs from Prospect Mill Park to the college, right behind the Observatory. Read all about their efforts in this article in the Aegis. Also a big shout out to the staff and volunteers from the Bike Shop of Bel Air for their work on constructing the second bridge on the trail.
Physical fitness is one of the top indicators of health and longevity. Healthy Harford’s fun new video just might motivate you to get out and move. You’ll probably recognize many of the places (and probably a few of the faces!) showcased.
Every journey begins with the first step. Start on your path to a healthier life today – Healthy Harford promises to be there to support you, every step of the way.