First Lady Michelle Obama Recognizes the Healthier US School Challenge Participants

Given that many children eat as a lot of as two meals a day at school, it’s pretty clear that schools have a very important role to play if we’re going to combat the disturbing rise in childhood corpulence we’ve seen in recent years.
Just as clear is that schools participating in USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge honored at the White House this week reveal the kind of deep commitment needed to create and maintain a healthy school environment. These schools are leaders that set an instance for schools across the country.
The Healthier US School Challenge is a key element of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. In February 2010, USDA and the First Lady called on stakeholders to twice the number of Challenge schools in a year  a goal reached in June  and add 1,000 schools per year for two years after that.
The 1,273 challenge schools honored at the White House on Monday voluntarily decided to provide healthy meals based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including a diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, and fat-free or low fat milk. Challenge schools also have to do what schools do best: They have to teach their students what it means to eat smart. They have to ensure that kids take part in usual physical activity. To attain that goal some schools offer creative options, such as supporting walking clubs and community-sponsored sports tournaments, or by just keeping a basket of simple items obtainable for students to use during recess, such as jump ropes or hula hoops.