By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Ray Elementary School has been chosen to take part in a healthy eating pilot project for Chicago Public Schools Nutrition and Support Services and the Office of Student Health and Wellness. CPS is also looking for parents who want to be a part of its Parent Food Advisory Group.
Both the Nutrition and Support Services and the Office of Student Health and Wellness departments say that they are receiving data that indicates CPS students are some of the most overweight and obese in the country. They plan to release the data in a report in the next few months.
CPS is implementing a new healthy snacks and beverages policy with tighter restrictions on the types of food provided to students and it created the Healthy Celebrations program. The program will allow parents and teachers to choose from a menu of options for healthy snacks to celebrate their students during birthdays, school contests and other occasions. Food choices include: Vanilla yogurt with cranberry apple blend topping, mini muffins and corn chips with Pico de Gallo. There are also options that let students build their own parfait or snack mix.
Ray, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., was chosen for the pilot because it has been a model school when it comes to wellness programs, which include recess.
Parents have been invited to join the conversation about the type of food that is being served to their students. The CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness is hosting a series of meetings to talk to parents about healthy school meals. As a member of the Parent Food Advisory Group participants are asked to visit cps.edu to fill out an application and be prepared to attend one-to-three meetings during the school year. The first meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
For more information, email Nadia Sulayman, CPS School Wellness Specialist, at email@example.com