Local Teachers Reach for the Veggies

HealthySchools-FruitsVeggiesEver consider removing the unhealthy snacks in your life, and replacing them with fruits and veggies? Well, that’s exactly what local teachers have done these past four week!

To eat healthy for themselves, as well as demonstrate their habits to our youth, the Bethel and Springfield school districts have partnered together in the PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge. During the challenge, teachers have replaced unhealthy and high-calorie snacks with fresh produce, and have been very successful doing so!

  • In four weeks, 1,449 Bethel and Springfield School teachers and staff participated in the Healthy Life Schools Challenge – that’s 74% participation!
  • Participants consumed a healthy 24,015 fruits and veggies throughout the Healthy Schools Challenge.
  • 6,479 unhealthy and high-calorie snacks were replaced with healthier options.

These teachers have set a higher standard for their health, and are setting a great example to our students, schools, and community! Though, you may have noticed that this is a challenge, and what is a challenge without a little competition! With each school tracking their habits, PacificSource has awarded $1,000 to the winning elementary, middle, and high school for the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables. Each school will use the prize to improve the health of their school! The winning schools are:

  • High School Winner: Kalapuya High School, Bethel School District
  • Middle School Winner: Shasta Middle School, Bethel School District
  • Elementary School Winner: Thurston Elementary School, Springfield School District

Congratulations, and thank you, teachers, for being great role models!

Stockings, a Healthy and Humbling Holiday Tradition!

Yesterday morning I celebrated the holidays by opening up my stocking, a great custom that turns out to be one of the few healthy traditions I have practiced over the last few days! Yeah, something I should work on, but the “eggnog” and homemade cookies are hard to pass up!

iStock_000021725524XXXLarge-Stocking-Christmas-Fruit-NutsEach year the toe of my stocking is filled with assorted nuts in their shell and a perfectly ripe navel orange. For me, the tradition of nuts and fruit go back to when my grandparent placed these items in my stocking when I was young. And, each year I would question why I received these healthy snacks instead of more candy, with the annual response that these items brought good luck for the new year.

Well, as I pealed my orange yesterday morning, my curiosity forced me to confirm this answer, or find the truth! What I found was a great history of giving, and a humbling path back to the past that will keep me placing fruit and nuts in the stockings of my loved ones.

Giving fruit and nuts goes back to the 1880’s, as stockings became a popular way to give gifts during the holidays (learn why stockings were originally hung with care). During this time, these items where hard to acquire as times were tough, but the new railway systems made it possible to deliver fresh fruit before it spoiled. Thus, an orange and nuts were considered cherished treats! For all but the wealthy, this Christmas gift was the only fresh fruit and nuts children would enjoy all winter and spring.

So, for those of you looking for healthy traditions during the holiday season, here is a practice that will not only provide good nutrition, but a story that will bring your family to appreciate the gifts received during this season. And, if you still need a little extra reason, I will tell you it brings good luck for the new year!

Looking for more healthy holiday traditions? Try these delicious recipes for Sweet Potato Casserole and Cranberry Apple Crisp! Yum!

Let’s Move! Together!

Facebook_Move GraphicLast week First Lady, Michelle Obama celebrated the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! Campaign.

Let’s Move! is about putting children and their families on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years by encouraging them to eat healthfully and get active.

To demonstrate the national scope of all the great work happening around the country, the First Lady encouraged people of all ages to show her how they move through eating more fruits and vegetables, getting physically active, or making healthy changes like planting a community garden.

Happy family playing with a soccer ballNow, we’re asking you!

To celebrate the Let’s Move! movement we’re encouraging you to share what ‘moves’ you to get moving! Here’s what we’re asking you to do:

    1. First, (and most important) Move! Show us how you move through the choices you make to live a healthy life. Whether it’s eating healthfully, getting active, relaxing or managing your stress or spending quality time with your family and friends, we want to know how you’re moving to help change the health of our nation…for the better!
    2. Document your movement. Take a picture or create a video and post it to our PacificSource Healthy Life Facebook page. We want to see pictures or videos of you moving, your school moving, your work moving, your family moving, etc.
    3. As a thank you for sharing how you move, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a free Nike Fuel Band. We’ll draw the winner next week. If you win, we’ll message you on Facebook.
    4. Finally, share with your friends, family, colleagues, etc., to get them moving!

If the President and Vice President can do it, so can we!

In case you missed it and to get you inspired, here is a fun “Must see and Must Share video” on how the President and Vice President get moving. (Spoiler alert – Sunny and Bo are in the video too!)