Strong Bodies, Strong Minds

THE SPS WELLNESS PROGRAM

Here at Springfield Public Schools, we believe that students who eat well and exercise their bodies will be more successful in exercising their minds as well. To help promote a healthy lifestyle among our students, we have adopted a new Wellness Program, which will continue to make changes to the foods we serve in the years to come.

HEALTHY STUDENTS 2020

First lady Michelle Obama and the rest of the White House are committed to improving health and wellness in the United States, so to improve the lifestyles of Americans they have created a plan called Healthy People 2020. This plan seeks to improve health by eliminating the differences in health between groups of people, promoting healthy lifestyles and environments, and eliminating preventable health-related harms. To help accomplish this, the Wellness Program is working to help achieve these goals among students in SPS. To help promote healthy lifestyles, SPS is transforming the food served in the cafeteria.

The program, which was revised in mid-2014, is working to decrease the number of calories and amount of fat and sodium in food and is promoting balanced meals. Meals now must contain meat or a meat alternate, and encourage the inclusion of a whole-grain side or side of fruits and vegetables. This will provide students with the protein, fiber, healthy sugars, and carbohydrates that their bodies crave to function properly. It is also cutting out added sweeteners, which add unhealthy sugars to children's diets and can contribute to high blood sugar and weight gains. Not only will it work to increase the healthiness of students' diets in the cafeteria, but it will also work to increase the healthiness of diets throughout the rest of the school and in school activities. Other food vendors such as school stores and vending machines will now be responsible for their foods as well, and school events will be healthier to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition, we will be working to help students who are financially disadvantaged to stay healthy and well nourished by sending home backpacks full of food through our backpack program.

In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle through food, SPS will also be promoting a healthy lifestyle through the promotion of exercise, community programs to help community wellness, and in-school programs to educate students about the importance of health and exercise. There will also be an increase in education about the harms of UV radiation, drugs and alcohol, and eating disorders. These, as well as increased allergen awareness, will help to eliminate preventable health issues and ensure that students maintain a healthy lifestyle.

LEARN MORE

To learn more about the Wellness Program and how to encourage healthy lifestyles in your home, feel free to visit our website below. You can also visit the website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at usda.gov to learn more about health and how to live a healthier lifestyle.