Gold Standards for Schools

April 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Just last week, Chicago Public Schools announced new guidelines for the foods served in its schools. These guidelines will either meet or exceed the standards set for the “gold” certification in the USDA’s Healthier Schools Challenge. CPS has also joined forces with Healthy Schools Campaign to promote the “Go for the Gold Campaign,” a strategic effort to improve student access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and physical activity.

This morning, Monica Eng reported on the nutrition education piece reporting on several organizations and companies in the private sector providing such education to Chicago Public Schools. It’s a good start. These organizations are simply a sampling of the non-profit and for-profit organizations working to improve the health of Chicago’s children through cooking classes, gardening, and sustainability education. Not too long ago, I described the inaugural meeting of Growing Healthy Kids, a coalition of these organizations. Last night, we met again to continue our networking efforts and to discuss future initiatives. The ideal behind this group is that not one of our groups can solve the issues facing our children alone. As Michelle Obama noted during Friday’s White House Child Obesity Summit: “in the end, solving this problem is going to take every single one of us.”

Schools and parents looking for providers of nutrition education might be interested in the brochure that we prepared from the information provided by Growing Healthy Kids participants, available on the Purple Asparagus website

Under the leadership of Liz Isaacs, Purple Asparagus is also organizing a group of parents who are interested in helping their school meet the gold certification in the U.S. Healthier Schools Challenge, if you’re interested in participating, please email me at