PINELLAS CO., Fla. - Pinellas County Schools are choosing to eat healthier and sweat a lot more. Their efforts are getting some national attention.
Bardmoor Elementary knows how to sweat. It’s one of 30 Florida schools recognized by the U.S Department of Agriculture for encouraging students to make healthy choices. They just hung up their bronze award from the USDA's Healthier US School Challenge. The changes the school has made is kid approved.
“You are doing a good job!” said Gaby Ortega, a 5th grader.
Bardmoor Principal, Leigh Brown, says they’ve added a running club after school and yoga stretches before class.
“I think we’re creating a generation of smart bodies and smart minds," said Brown.
But it’s not just sweating. Cafeteria staff restructured their menu. Meaning more whole grains, fruits and veggies, plus, leaner protein and lower-fat dairy.
“If you eat healthier, then you don’t get big and round," said Kaydin Towns, a student.
They understand and their principal says they are also eating the food. They go through around 10 pounds of salad a day and now they have a lot more options of fruits and vegetables. A couple of years ago they would have had a fraction of what they now store in their pantry.
"It’s not just saying you have to eat this only. It’s giving you multiple options of what you can eat," said student Austin Clark.
The principal believes every school can come on-board.
“It’s an attainable goal for any school and it’s just taken very small tweaks within our building," said Brown.
Bardmoor is no stranger to a low-income background. All of their students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Brown encourages parents to ask their schools for healthier changes. Hers paid off. The award also gives the school a $500 grant that’ll go to continue the program.