Eating Well, Doing Well

Concerns of childhood obesity are being addressed in area schools.

Taylor County school students know to successfully hit the books; they have to pound the pavement. Now a proposed wellness policy will make sure of it.

Bill Hunter, Food Service Supervisor, says, "The wellness policy includes goals for nutritional education, nutrition of all foods served on campus. It includes goals for physical activity, which includes physical education and other activities."

Superintendent Oscar M. Howard adds, "Students who are mentally active and physically active, they go hand-in-hand. They do much better in the school settings."

A committee of parents, students and school officials drafted the policy in response to recent federal legislation.

School lunches will be monitored according to guidelines, a la carte items will be high in fiber and low in fat, and vending machines will provide 100 percent fruit juice, water, non-carbonated beverages and milk.

Principal Sylvia Ivey says, "This wellness policy for us at the elementary school will give us the support we need, the policy in place that we need to implement that effort to make sure that when children are on our campus, they are eating healthy foods."

Teachers are also expected to work on getting in shape. A public hearing on the wellness policy is scheduled for April 18 at 7 p.m. at the district administration complex.

Suwannee County has also developed a wellness program. It has been approved and will be implemented beginning next school year.