Significant findings the School Health Policies and Practices reported include:

  • 33.5 percent of schools allow soft drink companies to advertise on campus, decreasing from 46.6 percent in 2006
  • 43.4 percent of school districts prohibit junk food in vending machines, increasing from 29.8 percent in 2006
  • 73.5 percent of schools address nutritional standards for foods sold outside of breakfast or lunch programs, increasing from 55.1 percent in 2006
  • 52.7 percent of schools make school food nutritional information available to parents, increasing from 35.3 percent in 2000

The report notes that “schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns.”  We know that the establishment of a long-term healthy lifestyle cannot be obtained overnight, so we must continuously implement healthy habits in our children’s everyday lives.So how do we begin? As schools are making their own efforts, we must do so as well. We all know that most children (and let’s be honest, most adults) would rather chow down a cheeseburger than a fruit salad, but encouraging simple, smart decisions early on can lead to a better quality of life for our kids.

According to the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study:

  1. Good nutrition is the foundation of health and inspires other healthy lifestyle choices.
  2. The best time to establish good health and nutritional habits is in childhood.
  3. The key to getting children to adopt good health habits is parental involvement.

Remember, a little sacrifice early on can lead to rewarding results. We have all heard that “it’s never too late to start,” but why not now? Believe me, our children will thank us one day, and that in itself is fulfilling.

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