A fresh approach

I am lucky enough to live in an area where we are able to enjoy four seasons, fall is so beautiful here! As soon as the mornings start to feel crisp, I look to the mountains above my house to check for signs of the changing leaves. I used to absolutely love fall colors I still dowhen we were in our last home the colors were much warmer inside and out.

A fresh approach

What you put in your body really matters. The state of New Mexico has, over the past several years, increased the funding for public schools to purchase and serve students fresh fruits and vegetables. Many districts and charter schools benefit from these funds to support healthy eating.

South Valley Prep is one such school. South Valley Prep, a small charter middle school in Albuquerque, secured Farm to School funding for the first time two years ago.

A fresh approach

It was at the same time that the school had committed to implementing a schoolwide initiative that supported the health and wellness of the whole child.

This initiative went beyond the average physical education and basic health class to include serving teenagers fresh, clean and organic food. Trust me, this is not easy! Convincing teenagers to snack on carrots and turnips instead of Hot Cheetos or to eat salad instead of ramen noodles for lunch — the struggle A fresh approach However difficult the task, we continue to persist in our commitment and belief that we can positively impact the overall wellness of our students through the food they eat at school and that wellness has a direct impact on the academic and social emotional success of our students.

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What began with some funding and a field trip to our community farm grew into an explicit collaborative effort to teach our students that what they eat affects more than their physical being.

Soon, they began to understand that healthy food means much more than a healthy body; it also means a healthy mind. The next year, with a little more Farm to School funding from the New Mexico Public Education Department and a little more intentional collaboration with our like-minded partners, Swan Kitchen and La Plazita Institute, South Valley Prep students began to go to the farm on a weekly basis.

We were able to collectively include more local fresh fruits and vegetables in our meals. At the farm, students began to plant, tend and harvest much of the fruits and vegetables they see on their plates at school.

What hard work that was and what an impact it made on their understanding of our community farmers, traditions and our culture. They began to make connections between the healthy plants that grow in our earth and the healthy things that grow in our lives.

They began to understand that weeds can overcome a garden just as unhealthy choices can overwhelm their lives.

The Farm to School funding has allowed our school to make a big difference both within and outside our small school community in so many different ways. Besides the obvious economic benefits, this program has made, and continues to make, a priceless impact on our youth.

I applaud the state for making the Farm to School Program a priority by continuing to fund this initiative.Sage, A Fresh Approach Sage is bringing a fresh face to facility services and industrial laundry.

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A fresh approach

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When you purchase from the Focus on the Family Store, you are supporting ministry. All proceeds from your purchase directly fund our various ministry programs. Taking a fresh approach to healthcare and patient and family-centered care, UW Health partnered with Findorff early on to strategically develop a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind health and wellness center.

Reclaim your health with eating tips, recipes, lifestyle change with Kristie LeBeau, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Redlands, CA.

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