Healthy After-School Snacks Have Students Asking for More
Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School
A priority of the diverse West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school district has been to create more opportunities for students to be physically active. After learning about Action for Healthy Kids’ Game On grants, leaders in the district’s School Age Care (SAC) program saw a chance to provide students more physical activity and exposure to fruits and vegetables in their out-of-school time programming. Thanks to funding from Saputo, Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School was awarded a $1,000 Game On Grant for the 2018-2019 school year to improve health initiatives in their SAC programs.
To put their grant into action, SAC staff participated in a professional development day focused on physical education, where they discovered ways to offer quality physical activity initiatives that were engaging and accessible for all abilities. Pilot Knob STEM’s SAC staff is actively involved in the school’s Wellness Committee and is working with the district’s dietitian to offer a healthy snack menu that’s aligned with Smart Snack requirements. The district’s nutritionist is also compiling a “how to pack a healthy lunch” resource to share with families who provide lunches for their students during non-school days at SAC.
Julie Davis, Pilot Knob SAC site lead, shared, “Students at Pilot Knob are generally pretty receptive to our efforts to include healthy foods in our snack routine. Every day we offer a fruit or a vegetable, and most of the students eat at least one serving. Sometimes if we have extras we will offer a snack again at 5:00pm. The students really look forward to this and often ask for their ‘5:00 snack’ several times a day.”
This year, Pilot Knob SAC is planning a big build-up to Every Kid Healthy Week that includes weekly challenges, and non-food rewards, for healthy eating, wellness habits, de-stressing, physical activity, and sleep.