Back to School: Healthy and active kids learn better at TTUSD | SierraSun.com

Back to School: Healthy and active kids learn better at TTUSD

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SELS students jump for joy — because they're healthy!

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District places great importance on the health and well-being of all of its students and creates a healthy learning environment that includes the physical, emotional and social conditions that affect the well-being of students.

TTUSD implements various programs district wide to ensure scholars are set up for success. The Food and Nutrition Services department provides a food service program that offers all students high-quality meals, including scratch cooking and nutrient dense food choices, with an emphasis on sustainable practices.

There are multiple opportunities for students to enjoy nutritious meals including a breakfast program offered both before and during school. Fresh fruit and vegetables are offered daily, at every meal, and all schools offer salad bars filled with veggies and fruits.

TTUSD Food Services Director & Registered Dietitian Kat Soltanmorad shared, "Breakfast is a big focus of our department. We know that skipping breakfast can negatively affect a child's attention span and energy level and lead to problems in the classroom. We want to fuel our kid's first thing so they can be successful and focused throughout their school day."

Students should start their day with a breakfast that includes at least three of the five food groups.

Tahoe Forest Health System has a strong partnership with TTUSD, and their B-FIT (Be-Fit in Tahoe) program encourages physical activity and healthy habits with scholars.

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The program was created to increase physical activity at school, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and improve academic performance. Experts recommend that kids get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Working these minutes into the school day not only supports a child's overall health but also helps teachers keep students focused and alert in the classroom. B-FIT incorporates physical activity into the classroom with daily "activity bursts" and provides monthly wellness challenges for scholars and their families.

Research shows that the greatest indicator for how dedicated a child is to exercise, and healthy eating is how dedicated their parents are to the same behaviors.

Jill Whisler, Registered Dietitian with Tahoe Forest Health System, stated, "You are the most influential person in your child's life. So lead your child in the right way to create the healthiest lifestyle possible. Students will perform better in school and develop good eating habits that will last them a lifetime."

Good nutrition and learning go hand in hand. TTUSD has adopted and implemented a Student Wellness Policy with rigorous standards that meet or exceed the USDA requirements for foods and beverages given to students at school.

For more information on the district's wellness policy, school menus and nutrition tips visit http://www.ttusdhealthymeals.org.

This article was provided by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Visit ttusd.org to learn more.

School is a healthy food zone at TTUSD

Some examples from the wellness policy include:

CELEBRATIONS: At TTUSD when we celebrate we also promote health. School and classroom parties offer opportunities to model and reinforce that healthy eating and active living mean a healthy body and a sharper mind! Only ONE classroom celebration per month can include food. Classroom celebrations include holidays, birthdays, 100th day of school, etc.

REWARDS: Using food as a reward or punishment can undermine healthy eating habits. Encouraging children to indulge in foods that are “bad” for them as a reward for doing something good sends a mixed message. Foods/beverages will not be offered as rewards for positive behavior nor will they be withheld as a form of disciplinary action.

“Every single young person has to be prepared for a very competitive world economy. They have to be at the top of their game, and for that, they need to be healthy. They need proper nutrition and access to healthy meals at school and at home in order to reach their full potential.”

— Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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