Veggie U expands to Montana

This spring Montana fourth graders got up close and personal with seeds, shoots, soil and even worms thanks to the Veggie U program. Six classes of fourth grade students across the state received a Veggie U kit that contained all the necessary tools to grow vegetables and learn about healthy eating. PacificSource started funding this program in 2010 in Oregon and Idaho and we were excited to expand it to Montana this year.

Students from Ms. Alberts’ fourth grade class at Kessler Elementary in Helena shared their favorite parts of the program. Check out the video below.

After their hands on experience planting, growing and harvesting vegetables, we’re hopeful that these students will continue to try vegetables and other new healthy foods.

If you’d like to nominate a classroom in your area to receive a Veggie U kit, complete this nomination form to tell us why your teacher and classroom would be a good fit for Veggie U.

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Sharing Healthy Ideas at The Pear Blossom Festival

MEDFORD PEAR BLOSSOM (6)In Medford, OR, nothing brings out the crowds like the Pear Blossom Festival. The event marks the beginning of spring, and while we attend the event every year, it’s really, really nice when the weather cooperates. This year, we posted up with a “Share Your Healthy Ideas” banner, and simply asked people to give us their ideas for living a healthy life. As we always do, we had a flood of incredible ideas.

We also offered some of our favorite healthy “spring time” recipes, some fresh produce, our wellness trivia game (complete with a nifty Plinko board), and we gave away some of our handy salad shakers to the winners.

It’s an amazing event, and our team in Medford had a blast. Thanks to everyone who stopped by! Here are some more snapshots from the event:

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The Healthy Life Schools Challenge

Jordan and Kids Centennial Elementary School AssemblyHealthy Teachers + Healthy Students = Healthy Life. That’s the idea behind the third annual PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge. Teachers and faculty from two school districts in Eugene/ Springfield, OR (Bethel and Springfield) have come together to compete in a month-long competition to find out which school (elementary, middle and high school) can eat more healthfully and get active. Now through May 10, more than 35 participating schools will compete in the wellness challenge to show us how they live a healthy life by replacing unhealthy snacks with fresh fruits and veggies and following the ‘Run/Walk for My Healthy Life’ Couch-to-5K program to train for local races. To help motivate teachers and students to run or walk a 5 kilometer race, PacificSource Health Plans is offering free entries to these races: Casa/Re/Max Champions 6K and Miles for Meals 15K, 5K and 1 Mile. Here’s a look at our ‘Run/Walk for My Healthy Life’ Couch-to-5K program:

Couch to 5K_four week_family guide

J Kent and Kid with CapeAssemblies were held at an elementary and a middle school in Eugene to kick off this year’s Healthy Life Schools Challenge activities. Former University of Oregon three-sport athlete Jordan Kent rallied students to get involved in the challenge by encouraging their teachers to eat fresh fruits and veggies and by training for a 5K race.  Kent also shared some tips on the benefits of heating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. Jordan is the founder of the Jordan Kent Skills Camp for boys and girls ages 6 – 12 that offer life skills education and instruction in football, basketball, and soccer, Jordan Kent.

Of course, the most important prize for teachers is that they’re improving their health and setting a good example to students. But, to add a little incentive, a $1,000 prize will be awarded to the elementary, middle and high school that consumes the highest percentage of fruits and vegetables.  School winners are encouraged to use that prize money towards improving the health of their school.

To learn more about the Healthy Life Schools Challenge or see how your school can get involved, visit HealthyLifeChallenge.org.

A Healthy Life Starts With You!

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