Black Hawk recognized for healthy eating efforts

School presented a check for $2,000 from Schwan’s

by Jessica Harper
Thisweek Newspapers

Students at Black Hawk Middle School get autographs from Vikings running back Lorenzo Booker, who spoke to them about the importance of healthy eating during a rally on Sept. 27. Black Hawk was recognized by Schwan’s Food Service that day for efforts to promote healthy eating at the school. - Photo by Jessica Harper

The school song plays, while the crowd cheers on the mascot.

It seems like any ordinary pep rally at Black Hawk Middle School, except the crowd isn’t cheering on the home team. Rather the students are cheering for nutrition.

Black Hawk Middle School was one of four schools in the nation this week to be recognized by Schwan’s Food Service for its efforts to boost nutrition among students – an effort that has been carried districtwide.

As a part of Schwan’s LiveSmart X-Country Tour on Sept. 27, Black Hawk’s food service received a $2,000 donation.

“We plan to use this toward a wall mural or an ice machine to make fruit smoothies,” said Cindy Landgrebe, food and nutrition manager for Black Hawk. “This money will go a long way in promoting healthy meals.”

The school has made numerous changes to its menu in an effort to make it healthier.

Specifically, salt and sugar has been reduced, while fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains have been increased.

“We have evolved with the times by making changes for years to meet new standards,” said Janeen Peterson, president-elect of the Minnesota School Nutrition Association and a registered dietician with the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.

The school has also gone beyond basic standards by starting a farm-to-table program in which it orders locally grown goods.

“The beauty of it is that it introduces kids to where food is grown,” Peterson said.

It was this and similar efforts that stood out when Schwan’s sought a candidate for its LiveSmart tour, said Jim Clough, president of Schwan’s.

“They have a real commitment to nutrition,” Clough said.

Clough was not the only one to recognize the school for its efforts.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar sent a recorded speech, and Minnesota Vikings running back Lorenzo Booker spoke to students about the importance of healthy eating.

“Your body is like a vehicle; if you want it to run well, you need to take care of it,” he said.

Booker told students how he has changed his own eating habits to stay in good health and encourages his fellow Vikings to do the same.

At the end of the rally, students had a chance to ask Booker questions and get autographs.

When one student asked Booker who was most influential in life, he said his mother.

“She’s the cornerstone of who I strive to be,” he said.

Booker advised students to “understand that you have responsibility to yourself and everyone in your school and community. When you do something good or bad, think of that responsibility.”

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