Looking towards a healthier future

Bethany Bergschneider, Editor

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Salads are arguably the face of the healthy eating movement. Low calorie, plentiful in vitamins, and full of possibilities, they’re an easy and nutritious food option, and they may soon become an everyday option for FHS students.

Franklin recently applied for a grant through an organization called Fuel Up to Play 60. According to its website, it is an “in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.”

Within those areas of physical activity and nutrition, Fuel Up to Play 60 offers various “plays,” which are essentially just different topics or areas for programs to focus on. These include Food: Waste Less and Enjoy—It’s Good for All of Us, Fight Hunger—Help Nourish Your Community, and the one Mrs. Slaughterback chose for Franklin, Highlight Healthy Foods—Go Nutritious. That project would include purchasing equipment for the salad bar.

“Our idea is to have a nice salad every day with lots of fruits and vegetables, some tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and cucumbers—those sort of things to put on the salad, with dressings of course. We’re looking at getting some Greek yogurt with granola, so there are different ideas flowing out there, but those are a couple of the big ones so far,” says Mrs. Slaughterback, who discovered the grant and helped to fill out the application.

Salads are available right now in the cafeteria on a trial basis. “I think that there has been a lot of support from the kids and faculty, and I think Mrs. Seymour and the kitchen staff have noticed that the salads have been selling out pretty quickly,” Mrs. Slaughterback says.

As for the other portion of the grant? “The physical fitness part would be a Saturday fitness day event and we have some equipment in mind to purchase.” Another idea that was mentioned is having scheduled classroom breaks for physical activity.

“There’s a lot of studies out there that say that if students get a break and do a little physical activity, it stimulates brain activity and helps them learn at a higher level,” says Mr. Waggener. “At the school I was at before, we had a break where kids would get up and move around, so we’re looking at implementing something like that.”

The grant offers up to $4,000 per year total for both programs. “The challenge was filling out the grant because it’s so lengthy. But Mr. Waggener and I sat down one day and knocked it out together, so now the hard part is waiting to hear if we got it or not.”

According to the grant application, the ultimate goal of the grant and the programs it would fund would be to “create a long-term healthy lifestyle program.” To elaborate, Mrs. Slaughterback explained it as “trying to create an environment that teaches healthy living, both with healthy food choices and physical activity.”

Mr. Waggener agreed. “Obesity in youth is so prevalent these days, but if we catch students at a younger age and teach them the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, maybe they’ll carry that on through their adult life.”