NJ Healthy Kids Forms Healthy Worksite Program, Encourages Health-Packed School Lunches

Source: NJ Healthy Kids.org
General Mills is the first corporate employer in Vineland to join the Healthy Worksite Program as part of the Live Healthy Vineland initiative.
“General Mills is a great win for the community, and its location across from South Vineland Park gives us a chance to reintroduce to park to General Mills’ 400 employees and use the grounds and its amenities,” said David Calderetti, project manager for New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Vineland (NJPHK-V).
“Healthy Worksite is not a one-size fits all initiative,” explained Calderetti. “We use proven CDC methods to understand what makes sense for a given employer and the employees.” And there’s more: Employers from the public sector are also engaged. The Vineland Public School District has agreed to be a Healthy Worksite for its 2,300 employees. In addition, the Vineland Developmental Center is considering the opportunity. “It’s exciting to see the buy-in from large community organizations and businesses,” said Calderetti.
The start of the school year means early mornings, busy schedules and a calendar full of activities and assignments. With so much going on, it is important to ensure that kids have proper nourishment to help keep their minds and bodies focused and energized throughout the year. Packing healthy lunches is a simple, effective way to help kids start the school year off on the right foot.
New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) recognizes how important it is for parents to provide their children with healthy foods and the significant impact a healthy diet can have in the classroom and beyond. “Sending kids to school with a healthy packed lunch can help them succeed in and out of the classroom. When children have a well-balanced diet they can focus on their studies instead of their stomachs,” said Darrin Anderson, Deputy Director of NJPHK. “We, at NJPHK, continue to work toward giving families access to affordable, healthy food, so they can provide their children with healthy lunches and help them flourish at school.”
Prepare healthy packed lunches with these quick tips in mind:

  • Give children a well-balanced meal by incorporating plenty of fruit and vegetables and cutting down on high-sugar and processed foods
  • Choose water over soda, sports drinks or other sugary beverages
  • Prepare food items in bulk at the beginning of the week to save time
  • Have fun! Make preparing lunches a family activity

Packing healthy school lunches is an opportunity to get kids in the kitchen and give families time to bond. “When we bring children into the kitchen and teach them about food prep, portion size and food type it enables children to bond with their parents, take ownership of their health and empowers them to make healthy choices on their own,” said Anderson. By working together to pack nutritious school lunches at home, families can contribute to building a culture of health that extends into the school and community-at-large.

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