The Best of Our Knowledge
4:35 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 993

Albany, NY – BACK TO SCHOOL: STUDENTS NEED TO EAT SMART TO BE SMART -

A conference was held earlier this month asking education leaders to address what can be done at school to improve children's health. They were asked to consider the health impact of schools, where children spend the bulk of their time. One question: do students have access to nutritious food? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America issued specific recommendations for how schools can help improve health. One of these was, "Ban junk food from schools. Feed children only nutritious foods in schools."

Well, September of course does mark the beginning of the school year. And it's also Fruits & Veggies - More Matters Month. This is a time when the CDC joins other public and private organizations to promote eating fruits and vegetables. The CDC, in fact, has developed a kit for teachers and dietitians to use with children to spark their interest.

So now that kids are back in school this fall, parents should have some "homework" of their own preparing fresh, healthy lunches that their children will actually eat at school and enjoy.

To that end, University of Michigan Health System's, Andi McDonnell, speaks with registered dietitian, Catherine Kraus, for TBOOK.

Andi McDonnell reports. (3:11)

**(Attention listeners. For a recap of some of the highlights in the story above, you may go to: http://myhealth.ucsd.edu/healthyliving/mindbody/july09lunch.htm.)**

BACK TO SCHOOL: GREEN BOOKS WITH GREEN ENDINGS
BUT ARE THEY REALLY GREEN? -

You may remember four weeks ago on this show, when we talked about E-books, or electronic books (like the Kindle) during our conversation on children's literature and literacy. Well, here's just one more facet of that story.

Book publishers have always had a close relationship with trees, mostly dead ones. But now, some publishers are trying to accommodate the growing green movement by introducing green books on environmental themes, and sometimes on recycled paper. TBOOK learns this trend has reached the children's section of your local bookstore.

The Environment Report's, Charity Nebbe. (3:28)

BACK TO SCHOOL: GREEN PURCHASING FOR GREENER SCHOOLS -

Local school officials, plus health and education officials at large, are obviously keeping a close eye on the impact the H1N1 flu virus is having on schools. We had the head of the CDC and the Education Secretary on this program just two weeks ago discussing this very issue. You can listen to that show online. It's program # 991 at: http://www.wamc.org/prog-tbook.html

Schools are known as breeding grounds for infectious diseases because children congregate in groups and spread viruses more easily and for longer periods of time than do adults. And immunologists tell us college students are expected to be hardest hit by the flu with their combination of close living quarters, communal restrooms, and large parties where cups and cans are swapped among friends.

So, with millions of students sending out billions of germs, parents and schools need all the help they can get. This is why more and more school districts around the country are investing in green purchasing of school supplies to help foster a more healthy school environment.

We invited two authorities to discuss this critical topic. Alicia Culver is Executive Director of The Green Purchasing Institute in California. And Claire Barnett is President of The Healthy Schools Network. TBOOK's, Bob Barrett, asked Alicia Culver what green purchasing really is?

Bob Barrett reports. (9:29)

**(Attention listeners. For more information about the above discussion, the Green Purchasing Institute website is: www.greepurchasing.org. The Healthy Schools Network is: www.healthyschools.org. And for the latest information from the government on schools and the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus, visit: www.flu.gov.)**

 

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