(WCCO) — Lifetime Fitness is calling on all local schools to step up its game when it comes to healthy nutrition and exercise.

On Thursday, the national health club announced a healthy eating program for kids.

The organization will show the schools how to make a healthy lunch within their current budget restriction. Lifetime is also going to pick one pilot school where it can test out the plan.

Forest Elementary in Crystal is already changing things up. Something different is being served up — more fruits and veggies.

“I like broccoli and stuff,” said fourth-grader Samantha Taye.

The school started three new programs this year. One is called “Get going with grains,” where each month they introduce a new grain to the menu. And another first for kids in elementary school.

“We’ve started a new program with salads everyday, so we offer a minimum of one salad choice as an entrée at all levels,” said Adele Lillie, Child Nutrition Program Coordinator for the Robbinsdale School District.

The schools are also cutting back on some items.

“We’ve reduced the times that we offer juice on our menu as a fruit option and we’re really pushing fresh fruits” said Lillie.

Schools have good reason to make these changes. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past couple of years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost one in four children in the United States is obese or overweight. Some children are already getting the message to eat healthy.

“Practically every day I have a really big carrot,” said Noel Hickman.

“You grow stronger, and it’s really healthy and good, too,” said Kaley Bohlin.

They are also doing something called “Cooking With The Neighborhood,” where they get recipes from the community and then try them out on the menu.

Sonya Goins, Producer
Contact Sonya

Comments (5)
  1. As a Nutritionist I am so happy to see more schools teaching children about the importance of nutrition and exercise. I am working with a few of our local schools teaching parents about healthy living and eating. We have a new school A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering. This is a public school that has eliminated almost all of the refined and processed foods. Every meal is served fresh, not frozen and reheated. they have a culinary trained chef that prepares the meals fresh. They have a salad bar and hot meal line with vegetarian options. Can you believe that! This is an awesome state of the art STEM school. Check it out at http://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/ajw/about/health.asp

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