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Healthy Choices for Everyone at Marathon High

Sonya Helms,   Marathon Hs
Access to Healthy Foods, Student Leadership,  Teamwork
In my hometown, my school tends to struggle with a lot of students not eating breakfast on a daily basis. A few months before school ended, a survey was sent out electronically, to give feedback to the cafeteria staff on how they could improve the health benefits of the students over the summer. A lot of the students don't eat breakfast, mostly because they don't have time, or they are not hungry. Other students say that they don't eat breakfast because their family cannot afford it. I teamed up with my athletic director and a few other students at my school, to figure out a way we could get the students to eat a balanced breakfast that was quick, easy, and healthy. Making smoothies were at the top of all of our lists! Our athletic department has "Wellness Wednesdays", a day when students can go and eat fruits and vegetables for breakfast, lunch, or just for a snack. It is a day to learn about healthier alternatives to junk foods. For one of the Wellness Wednesdays, I had nearly 200 students come in and pair up to make their own smoothies throughout the day! While using dairy products, this allowed them to make sure that they were getting their nine essential nutrients, along with their fruits and vegetables! Everyone loved the idea, and they have even asked me to come back and do it again!

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Timing was a big issue. We held this event right before school, a majority of the students came 15 minutes before they had to be to their first period class. This made it difficult to be able to prep and clean up in a timely manner. We learned that if the students paired up, this allowed for teamwork and it made it twice as quick. They were then able to get out of the smoothie production just in time for class.