Spokane schools encouraging healthy lifestyles with students and their families

Spokane schools encouraging healthy lifestyles with students and their families

Spokane Public Schools will be adopting a new marketing campaign in the fall called Power Up that is designed to encourage not just students, but the whole family to live a healthy lifestyle.

Doug Wordell is the Director of Nutrition Services at Spokane Public Schools, he said they were working on a phrase that would get kids and their families excited, and Power Up seemed perfect.

With months of work put into advancing their healthy eating mission, the nutrition department will roll out a marketing program this fall.

“It’s a nutrition education awareness for great foods, fresh foods, and kids making great selections in schools,” said Wordell.

He said they reached out to families to determine what their concerns were.

“We did focus groups with students. and we did parent surveys to talk about, what are their needs,” said Wordell.

They are encouraging the whole family to get involved, because it’s not enough to just educate the kids.

“A lot of the nutrition happens at home. We are going to provide some active resources to provide families so they can say, this is what we need for good nutrition, this is our chance to reach out and connect with our community,” said Wordell.

The program has multiple features, including Harvest of the Month. Each month the school will highlight a locally grown vegetable. This portion of the program has already been tested in some schools.

 “We did kale soup and lentil chili, and this coming year we are going to have green peppers growing from local farmers being brought to the school, they’ll know right where it was grown, ” said Wordell.

The district said they understands it’s not enough to just promote the nutritious food, but the make sure it actually is getting into student stomachs.

“We’re working with chefs and culinary experts to make our food great and tasty,” said Wordell, adding that he knows it may take some time for children to fully adapt to a new healthy lifestyle.

 “We’ve got time, we’ve got a lifetime to commit to kids to make it healthy, to make our school a healthy environment, and our community a healthy place to live,” he said.