Sawtooth Elementary and Cook County Schools Health Council were highlighted with a “success story” in a recent report to the Minnesota Department of Health. The December report is an update on the status of the State Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant in Northeast Minnesota.
In this first SHIP progress report, ISD 166’s efforts to create a “Safe and Healthy Snack” time for Early Childhood Family Education, preschool, Kindergarten, first and second grades at Sawtooth Elementary were among three “success stories” from the northeast region.
According to Kristen Wharton, the county’s SHIP coordinator, every day, students in these classes share a group snack provided by a family. The program promotes healthy eating and food safety. A snack list was provided to parents this year. In the past, no guidance was provided to families as to what was an appropriate snack food.
Wharton says the new snack list includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread products, and low-fat proteins. The list guides families away from known food allergens like peanuts, non-nutritious, high fat and high sugar snacks.
In a Sawtooth parent survey, the majority of respondents reported that they support healthy food choices for all students.