Area school sets national bar for nutritional standards


By Brittany Cooper


There are thousands of schools nationwide, but there's only one that received the 'Healthier US School Challenge Gold of Distinction Award'.

Last year Gooding Elementary was the first school in the west to receive the gold level award; now it's the first school in the country to achieve the gold of distinction award.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and the USDA's Deputy Under Secretary Doctor Janey Thornton joined in on the celebration.

Thornton says, "It takes great cooperation from all partners and this is sometimes very difficult in a school. You have to have input from the principal clear down tot the people in the kitchen."

In order to receive the honor, Gooding Elementary needed to meet rigorous nutrition and physical activity standards.

The school had to serve meals each day that included whole grain foods, low-fat and fat-free milk and fruits and vegetables.

Plus at least 90 minutes of physical education was required per week.

Luna says, "Nutrition, exercise and academics are all part of a well-rounded student and so Gooding, Idaho has not just set a standard for all of Idaho, but the whole country."

Luna says at the state level through the child nutrition program, increasing nutrition standards have been the major focus the last few years.

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