- Take Advantage of Harvest of the Month Training and Materials
- Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Resources Available
- New School Wellness Policy Requirements

Take Advantage of Harvest of the Month Training and Materials

Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a nutrition education program designed to expose elementary students to fruits and vegetables. The program can be implemented in a variety of ways within schools and out of school time programs. The program is designed to promote a different fruit or vegetable each month, using a prepared 20 minute lesson/presentation. The lessons provide information about nutritional value, how and where it is grown, and how it can be prepared. The lesson is followed by students taste testing the harvest of the month item.

This program has been implemented by elementary classroom teachers, physical education teachers, parents, community health professional, and Teens as Teachers. Recipes and shopping tips are sent home to encourage families to try the items at home. The school cafeteria can support the lesson by offering the monthly harvest item on the school lunch menu. Community grocery stores also have been a great partner by promoting Harvest of the Month items in their stores.

There will be three opportunities for receiving training on the Harvest of the Month program: June 5-6, June 12-13, or August 7-8. The training will include HOM implementation as well as gardening techniques and resources. This training is provided through a partnership of the following organizations: Team Nutrition & Coordinated School Health in the Department of Education, SD Discovery Center, SD Extension, and the Department of Health Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Schools may apply for funds to send two staff members to the training. Additional funding will be available for implementing the program. For more information go to the Harvest of the Month website www.sdharvestofthemonth.org or call Mary Kirk at (605) 773-4718.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Resources Available

School children eat more fruits and vegetables when they have a variety of choices such as those provided in a salad bar. To accelerate this trend, the “Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools” program is offering incentives to help school lunch rooms become better equipped to provide tasty fruits and vegetables.

Across the U.S., fewer than 1 in 10 children eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. School salad bars are one way to help reverse this deficit. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respond by trying new items, incorporating greater variety into their diets, and increasing their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Any school, public or private, participating in the National School Lunch Program can apply for a start-up award to help pay for salad bar equipment. Interested schools can begin the process by completing an online application and creating their own individualized webpage at: www.saladbars2schools.org. The website offers details about the benefits of salad bars and resources to help increase fruit and vegetable consumption at schools.

Salad Bars to Schools Training will be offered July 31, 2012. Watch for details in the May newsletter. The training will be sponsored by Child and Adult Nutrition Services and Coordinated School Health in the Department of Education with funding support from the Department of Health, Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

New School Wellness Policy Requirements

The Healthy Hungry Free Kids Act of 2010 has improvements to enhance local school wellness policies. Local wellness policies are an important tool for parents, local education agencies and school districts to promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and provide assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines meet the minimum federal school meal requirements.

The law requires that nutritional staff in local schools be involved in the development, implementation, and review of local policies. Schools are required to inform and update the public (including students, parents, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local wellness policies. These provisions will be effective this school year.

South Dakota has a Model Wellness Policy on the Coordinated School Health website, under policy. In May a team will review and revise the Model Wellness Policy to meet the requirements of the law.

April 2012