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Nutrition and Wellness

We encourage you to check out the ESPH (Eat Smart. Play Hard.) Video News at

This site provides important information for families about healthy living and shows how Kansas schools are teaching their students to "eat smart" and "play hard".  The November issue features USD 446 Independence, USD 259 Wichita and USD 269 Palco.  The Eat Smart, Play Hard Video News is a great tool for sharing health and wellness information with students, their families and patrons. 

This helps our district achieve one of our Wellness Policy Guidelines on Nutrition Education and Physical Activity for "Family & Community".


The Eat Smart Play Hard videos are now available online.






Turn Your Diet Green in 4 Simple Steps by Jennifer Kerr, MS, RD, CDN

The greatest advise for how to choose foods for your family is also the most simple.  Award-winning writer Michael Pollan has often been quoted for advising this-If your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, then neither should you.

As parents, you strive to feed your children well to support growth, development and good health.  With the spotlight shining on issues concerning the environment, energy and resource conservation, food safety etc., you're probably wondering what you can do to make sure your children grow up into a healthy world.  Consider taking the following steps to guide your food choices, the results could be healthier children and a healthier planet.

1. Shop the perimeter

The fringes of a grocery store contain the healthiest, most natural foods, with little or no packaging-fruits and vegetables, herbs, meat, fish and poultry, dairy, fresh baked bread and bulk foods like nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  Nutrition experts say that at least 90% of the food you buy should come from the fringes.  The majority of the middle aisles of the supermarket tend to be filled with processed packaged foods.  These foods are lower in nutritional quality, and waste valuable energy resources to be produced.  They also bring along excessive packaging, adding to environmental strain.

2. If you can't read it, don't eat it

Avoid products with more than five ingredients or any ingredients you cannot easily read and pronounce.  Recognize that there is a difference between what is food and what is just edible.  In fact, naturally healthy foods often come free of a Nutrition Fact Label or ingredient list at all!  Why bother labeling an apple, "apple", after all?

3. Grow your own food

Producing your own food saves money and reduces carbon emissions.  It is also a great way to be active as a family.  Your children (and you too!) will develop a deeper relationship with, and appreciation for food and nutrition through the experience of growing and harvesting and (let's not forget) cooking food.  To get started check out

4. Buy local

Shop at farms, farmers markets, food cooperatives and participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  The best food is the food less-traveled.  To learn more about these services and where you can locate them where you live, go to