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Healthy Living

Smart Choices

Smart ChoicesSmart Choices is a partnership between Dakota County school districts and Dakota County Public Health that focuses on creating a healthier school environment by increasing opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Research shows that improving eating and activity habits will help students maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease, as well as improve academic performance.

Smart Choices toolkit
Check out the Smart Choices Toolkit for ideas and practical resources for improving school nutrition and increasing physical activity before, during and after school.

Introduction to the Smart Choices Toolkit
SmartChoicesFactSheet.pdfSmart Choices Fact Sheet
The Learning Connection
District Wellness Policies

Nutrition resources
A la Carte
Student Vending
Classroom Snacks
School Stores and Concessions
Classroom Celebrations
Classroom Rewards
School Gardens
SmartChoicesSaladBar.pdfSalad Bar
SmartChoicesHealthyHydration.pdfHealthy Hydration

Physical activity resources
Active Recess
Active Classrooms
Safe Routes to School
Before and After School 
Quality Physical Education
Community Access

Smart Choices results
The Smart Choices partnership has achieved many important policy, systems, and environmental outcomes. Smart Choices teams have conducted comprehensive assessments of food sold in the school cafeteria, vending machines and school stores as well as policies covering fundraising and classroom celebrations. A few of the key changes since 2009 include:

  • All 70 schools in the six districts currently participating in Smart Choices have increased the number of vegetables served daily at lunch, and 29 schools offer salad bars to students.
  • 63 of 70 (90 percent) schools increased the number of fruits available daily.
  • 41 schools in the county have been awarded the Healthier U.S. School Challenge Awards, which are based on Institute of Medicine guidelines and the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Schools in the county have received $293,426 in grant funds from a variety of sources to implement Smart Choices activities.

Smart Choices is funded in part by the Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Last updated: 12/17/2015 5:33 AM