Healthier Schools, New Mexico

The nutrition component supports the availability of healthy food which is the primary building block for each child's physical growth, brain development, and ability to resist disease. Food also affects a child's emotions, sense of well-being and ability to learn.

The Nutrition component promotes:

  • Opportunities for interaction, family uniqueness and cultural diversity in a social setting;
  • Food service which is run by capable, well-trained professionals; and
  • Classroom learning which includes hands-on, practical applications of nutrition practices.

Goal: Promote the role of nutrition in academic performance and quality of life, and ensure the adoption of school policies which provide adequate nutrition opportunities.

Team Nutrition

Ninety-eight schools in 40 school districts are participating in Team Nutrition, an initiative in which schools become part of a network of public and private partnerships that promote food choices for a healthy diet through media, schools, families and the community. Team Nutrition supports the new policy updating school meals nutrition standards to reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Training of school staff was conducted by the Department of Health Nutrition Education and Training program and State Department of Education Nutrition Unit. For more information contact the Student Nutrition Unit, State Department of Education (505) 827-1821.

5-A-Day For Better Health

The 5-A-Day for Better Health program is one of the first national nutrition programs to approach Americans with a simple, positive message - eat 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day for better health. The program is jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institutes in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, a nonprofit consumer education foundation representing the fruit and vegetable industry. The goal of 5-A-Day is to increase the average consumption of fruits and vegetables to 5 servings daily by the year 2000.

New Mexico Department of Health is licensed to coordinate activities throughout the state. New Mexico has an active coalition with members united in their efforts to encourage all New Mexicans to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables - of course, in fun and creative ways.

New for this year is a project that combines physical activity, science and nutrition lessons all in one. The 5-A-Day Cylinder Garden project may be just right for your school. The Cylinder Gardening Project requires little land and little pre-garden preparation or experience. Everything is included: soil, seeds, containers, fertilizer, instructions and curriculum.

To be one of our 40 locations you need:

  • Elementary age children eager to grow and eat vegetables.
  • A garden lover (adult or older teen) who can be on location at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for supervision
  • A safe area that receives 4-6 hours of sunlight daily (either dirt or cement)
  • Access to water (hose or sink)
  • 30 - 90 days (planting to harvest-- spring, summer, or fall)
  • Access to copy machine to duplicate handouts for children
  • Camera to capture the fun (optional)

Each year to celebrate National 5-A-Day Week, volunteers set up a booth at the Bolack Agricultural Building during the 17 days of the State Fair. School classes from around New Mexico were challenged to be physically active and eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

For questions, comments and to send mail:
send email

Interested in becoming a member of the Healthier Schools Coalition (or even just getting on our mailing list)? Click here to go to the online HSC membership form.

Healthy kids make better students.

Better students make healthy communities.

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