PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With millions of students heading back to school, the childhood obesity crisis and nutrition legislation continues to top the agenda in Washington, the medical community, and for educators, parents and guardians across the country.
As part of its commitment to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move,” campaign (www.letsmove.gov), ARAMARK Education, a leading provider of food and nutrition services to more than 3,000 schools nationwide, is launching Healthy for Life™, a comprehensive wellness and nutrition education program designed to help improve the health and academic potential of our nation’s school children.
The Healthy for Life program creates healthier school environments through nutritious menus, wellness education, parental resource materials, a nutrition mascot, health fairs and school events.
“Obesity and poor health is rampant in our country and our children are particularly at risk. Given the number of children ARAMARK touches each day, this issue has moved to the forefront of our mission,” said Dennis Maple, President of ARAMARK Education. “With Healthy for Life, we can make a difference in every school ARAMARK serves by engaging the entire school community—parents, administrators, educators and students—to work together toward a lifetime of good health.”
As part of Healthy for Life, school menus will include more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein choices, low and non-fat dairy options, 100 percent fruit juice and water. ARAMARK continues to reduce added fats, sugar and salt; eliminate added trans fats; offer healthy, nutrient-dense snacks; source high quality, local produce and products; and promote and expand the availability of breakfast.
The educational components of the Healthy for Life program allow educators, administrators, parents and guardians to aid children in taking small steps each day to develop good health habits. These practical tools include a “Wellness Education Center” located in the school’s main office featuring monthly nutrition tips, “Ask the Dietitian” and other informational resources for parents. Healthy menu messages and icons, posters and other materials highlight nutrition and wellness messages for students, including “Understanding Serving Sizes” and “What is a Healthy Diet.”
Healthy for Life is enhanced by ARAMARK’s vibrant, age-specific dining environments: Cool*Caf™ features a fruit and vegetable bar and faster service lines for elementary students; 12-Spot is a high-energy café designed specifically for tweens in middle schools; and U.B.U. Lounge offers high school students a chance to relax on couches and listen to music, while refueling with a nutritious meal. ARAMARK also offers a fruit and vegetable of the month program to introduce students of all ages to seasonal produce.
Healthy for Life is another example of ARAMARK’s ongoing commitment to health and wellness which includes educating and encouraging people of all ages to adopt healthier eating practices and more active lifestyles to help in the fight against obesity and other diseases.
ARAMARK offers healthy food and beverage options to address nutrition and dietary priorities; promotes nutrition awareness through education and outreach programs; conducts research around food, nutrition and health trends; and partners with the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to positively impact public health. As one of America’s largest employers of dietitians, ARAMARK is the only professional services company to become an ADA Partner.
About ARAMARK Education
ARAMARK Education has provided quality food and nutrition, facility, uniform and other support services to the K-12 community for over 55 years. Serving more than 500 K-12 school districts in the U.S., the company offers public and private education institutions a family of dining and facility services including: on-site and off-site breakfast and lunch meal programs, after-school snacks, catering, nutrition education, retail design and operations, maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy management, construction management, and building commissioning. For more information on ARAMARK’s K-12 food service programs, please visit www.aramarkschools.com.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com, or www.twitter.com/aramarknews.