Helping get healthy

Dance team sponsors Healthy High School Challenge

Sree Kolli, Staff Writer

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Sparkly, bright-colored posters cover surface after surface in the Mustang Express. With signs that say slogans like “#stay hydrated”, the MN dance team is trying to promote one thing that America needs: healthier high schools.

The Healthy High School Challenge is a nationwide competition held annually by Sodexo, Millard’s food services company. Usually, the student council enters the contest, but for the first time, the dance team is the one taking on the challenge, vying for a grand prize of $5000. These funds would go towards further funding the team at nationals and other school projects.

Although the prize money is a major incentive, this challenge has a much bigger impact.

“It is good for kids to think about their health and the foods and drinks they put in their bodies.  It also encourages students to eat school lunch, which is good, so they get real food during the day,” dance team coach Andrea Feltz said.

Often times, high schoolers don’t pay any particular attention to what they’re eating. Many often fall into the routine of choosing the same unhealthy option every day.

“I have friends who buy the same chicken patty with french fries and cheese every day. We have been trying to interest kids, such as them, in other options that they might not usually consider by spicing up the Mustang Express with colorful reminders to buy water and healthier snacks,” freshman dancer Miranda Johnson said.

This challenge has helped students, such as her friends, choose healthier options by reminding them to be more aware of what they put in their body.

Picking the healthier choice over the tastier one is always harder than it looks. This competition takes this struggle into account.

“The goal of this challenge is to promote healthier options, instead of completely giving up certain snacks. For example, last week the bonus option was baked Doritos, which compared to other chips are much healthier. Instead of telling kids to not eat Doritos at all, we just tell them to eat a healthier type,” food service worker Kathy Webster said.

Through promoting various items such as water, whole grain rice crispy treats, and Chex mix, Feltz believes this challenge is making the school a better place.

“I think anytime we are talking about drinking more water and promoting healthier snacking we are helping students. Hopefully, everyone drank a little more water these past few weeks.” Feltz said.

The school will continue to provide healthier snacks after the challenge ends. After all, healthy lives mean brighter futures.

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