School Honored by First Lady for Healthy Habits

By Stephanie Parkinson

February 19, 2013 Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 6:56 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A local school is being honored by First Lady Michelle Obama for making healthy choices. Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Holland Elementary has been awarded by the Healthier U.S. School Challenge with the Gold Award with Distinction.

The school district has been using Holland Elementary as a pilot for a program they now plan to implement at their other elementary schools.

The initiative starts in the cafeteria with meals that include whole grains, vegetables and fruits. But they make sure those meals still include things the students are familiar with eating.

"We try to plan meals that are familiar to the kids and that they will actually eat because if they don't eat it, it's not nutrition,” said Candice Hagar, Director of Nutrition Services, Fort Wayne Community Schools.

One popular option among the kids is the hot dog lunch.

"It would have to be, the hot dog, because you can put ketchup on it and the bun is really really good it's really tasty and the hot dog is awesome,” said Jeremiah.

But the hot dogs are still very healthy for the students.

"The hot dogs are actually low fat, they are not real pork, they are turkey dogs and so they come with a lower fat content,” said Hagar.

Other lunch favorites include cheeseburgers and chicken tenders. Candice says what makes the cheeseburger healthy is being made with 100 percent beef and being served on a whole grain bun. The chicken tenders are baked, not fried and come with minimal breading.

But it doesn't stop with healthier food. They've made changes at recess too by organizing games.

"We play kickball, football, basketball, and tetherball,” said Jeremiah, 5th Grader.

This award won the school $2,000. The principal says that money will be used to buy more equipment to make sure the kids have even more games to play during recess.

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