Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to develop healthy eating habits in a child: Start early and eat your vegetables

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“A healthy diet promotes success in life — better concentration and alertness, better physical health that translates into good mental and emotional health. But even the best intentioned parents can expect food fights with their children, said Tanda Kidd, associate professor of human nutrition and extension specialist at Kansas State University. Developing good eating habits in your children is worth the effort, she said. Good eating habits also are a front-line defense against obesity, a scourge of the nation that happens when a child eats many more calories than he or she uses up. Nearly 1 in 4 children ages 2 to 5 is overweight or obese, said Paula Peters. An obese child is at risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and sleep apnea. Peters is an associate professor of human nutrition and assistant extension director for family and consumer sciences at Kansas State University.”(more)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

State healthy-school-lunch program kicks off in Pittsburg, five other Contra Costa districts

The Mercury News – Sam Richards

“When Jim Houston was growing up, he said, “Eating was considered healthy.” Thousands of cases of childhood obesity and millions of skipped school lunches later, school districts and nutrition experts are working together in earnest to make sure eating really does equal good health for young students. Houston — now California’s undersecretary for food and agriculture — was at Heights Elementary School on Thursday to help celebrate “California Thursdays,” a joint project coordinated by 42 state public school districts and the Berkeley-based Center for Ecoliteracy, a nonprofit that promotes ecological education, with the full blessing of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In Contra Costa and elsewhere, the school districts use their joint purchasing power to buy healthy, regionally grown food at the lowest price possible. For now an initiative to provide lunches on Thursdays, officials hope to one day expand the new healthier food to every day of the week. On Thursday, the gym/cafeteria at Heights was serving roasted chicken drumsticks from a Fresno County producer, as well as asparagus grown on a Stockton-area farm.”(more)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Making the Shift from Raising Awareness to Raising Healthy Kids

The Huffington Post – David Satcher, MD, PhD

“Our healthcare system is criticized for a greater focus on treating versus preventing disease and for not always supporting behavioral changes that lead to positive health outcomes. But many diseases, such as type II diabetes, heart disease, overweight and obesity, are complex societal issues, which many facets of society, and not just the healthcare system, play a role in preventing. Furthermore, just as the problems that have led to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and overweight among our youth are multifaceted, so too are the solutions. This week, schools around the country celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week, a moment during the school year to celebrate their health and wellness accomplishments achieved through nutrition and physical activity initiatives. We have come a long way since 2001 when I was Surgeon General and we issued a call to action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. The growing epidemic required a seismic shift in thinking about how to prevent childhood obesity, keep children from becoming overweight adults and teach lifelong habits necessary to promote health.”(more)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

California vaccine legislation spurs legal debate over right to education

The Mercury News – Tracy Seipel

“California’s Constitution spells out the right to a free public education, and lawmakers have fortified that guarantee over the years by safeguarding students against discrimination and inequality in the classroom. But now a debate over that protected access to an education has surfaced in the most contentious legislative battle in Sacramento this year: Does one student’s right to an education trump another student’s right to stay healthy? That question looms over Senate Bill 277, a controversial proposal that would tighten the requirements that all children be vaccinated to attend a California school.”(more)

Is your child sitting uncomfortably? Then we’ll begin

The Guardian – Chitra Ramaswamy

“It’s a childhood memory trigger up there with the smell of crayons and the sound of a Slinky travelling down the stairs. The feel of a school chair: bum-numbingly hard, built for stacking not sitting, mass-production not comfort, and bucket-shaped to a rigorous ergonomic standard that ensures it won’t fit a single child’s bottom in the land. Now one woman has decided to do for school chairs what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners. As in improve them, not start a boot camp in which designers are forced to stop manufacturing the Turkey Twizzlers of school furniture and make entertaining telly in the process.”(more)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Can Sleep Problems in Teens Predict Substance Abuse?

The Huffington Post – Dr. Michael J. Breus

“When thinking about the factors that contribute to teenage drinking and drug use, sleep may not make many parents’ lists. But it should. New research investigating the relationship between sleep and substance use among adolescents has found that sleep troubles in teens can predict several problems related to drinking and drug use, including binge drinking and driving while under the influence…Sleep problems among teens, unfortunately, are nothing new. But according to new research, sleep among teenagers in the U.S. has grown worse over the past two decades…Despite their seemingly boundless energy — and propensity to stay up late at night — adolescents need more sleep than adults. The National Sleep Foundation recently updated its recommendations for sleep amounts, and advise that teenagers ages 13-17 should sleep between 8-10 hours a night…What can parents do? Make sleep a priority in the household — for everyone. The elements that make up a strong and healthy sleep routine for teenagers are the same fundamentals of sleep hygiene that are important at any age, including:”(more)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What’s next on the menu for school dinners?

The Guardian – Matthew Jenkin

“The future of school meals lies in not just in providing healthy choices, but also through improving the mealtime experience, says Rockmount headteacher Tracey Langridge. She believes the problem is that lunchtimes in many schools resemble a factory production line, with students forced to wolf down their food to make way for the next pupil in the queue; there is little time for young people to take an interest in what they are eating. She would like to see lunch breaks become more of an educational experience. “When you discuss the food on their plates with children over the dinner table, they develop an understanding of why the different food groups are important and the benefits they provide. “We talk to them about the impact good food has on their learning and on their ability to concentrate. It is definitely having a positive effect and more children are choosing school lunches now than they were before.” She claims that once children take a greater interest in the content of their dinners, you can begin to teach where their food comes from. Rockmount did this by launching a gardening club, growing vegetables on the school grounds which were then included on the menu and taught about in class. “We have been really surprised that the children are taking on the importance of being healthy. It’s made us realise that the sooner you get this message across to children, the more likely it is to become an established part of how they think,” Langridge adds.”(more)

High school, middle school kids now use more e-cigs than tobacco: CDC

The Washington Post – Brady Dennis

“The number of middle and high school students using electronic cigarettes tripled between 2013 and 2014, according to government figures released Thursday, a startling increase that public health officials fear could reverse decades of efforts combating the scourge of smoking. The use of e-cigarettes among teenagers has eclipsed the use of traditional cigarettes and all other tobacco products, a development that Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called “alarming” and “shocking.” “What’s most surprising is how in­cred­ibly rapid the use of products other than cigarettes has increased,” Frieden said in an interview, adding that some e-cigarette smokers would undoubtedly go on to use traditional cigarettes. “It is subjecting another generation of our children to an addictive substance.””(more)

Investing in education: A smart strategy to improve health and curb the costs of care

The Hill – Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

“As Congress irons out spending priorities for the coming year, education funding is sure to be on the table. Budget talks around education will understandably center on how a better educated citizenry can fuel our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. What’s likely to be less talked about among our lawmakers – but critically important to the conversation – is how investing in education a smart strategy to improve our nation’s health and curb the rising costs of medical care. We know that education plays a key role in shaping health outcomes, and the price paid for a lost education—in terms of life expectancy and disease rates—has never been greater. Research finds that Americans with less education live shorter lives and are prone to higher rates of disease, and those without a high school diploma are living sicker, shorter lives than they did in the 1990s. That’s why our leaders in Congress must approach budget conversations with a comprehensive understanding of education – from early learning to improved access to college and job training – as a means to not only better our nation’s economic standing and the next generation’s job prospects, but also to make a lasting impact on public health and help control the spiraling costs of health care.”(more)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner

USDA – Elizabeth Rahavi

“Calling all budding chefs! Do you like to cook and make healthy food for your friends and family? If so, you might be able to show off your skills and creativity to the First Lady of the United States and your peers from across the country. Learn more about how you can represent your state at the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House this summer. First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education, and WGBH Boston invite you to enter the fourth annual Healthy Lunch Time Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner.” Check out the past events here on the Let’s Move! website and get inspired to participate in this year’s challenge.”(more)