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NEISD elementary school named one of America's healthiest

Colonial Hills Elementary named 1 of 8 schools for distinction

SAN ANTONIO – A North East Independent School District elementary school has been named one of America's healthiest schools.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation based the award on multiple factors like healthy meals, physical fitness education and empowering students to become healthy role models.

Colonial Hills Elementary was named one of only eight schools across the country to win the highest distinction.

"I feel like the lunch ladies really care about us here giving us like healthy options and letting us choose healthy. So like we can always just stay healthy and have a healthy life," fifth grader Sydney Talamantes said.

Talamantes is one of the many students at Colonial Hills elementary who loves the school's garden.

"If they're good we'll pick them and then we'll put them in like a basket. And whenever we're all done we'll take them to our cafeteria. And we'll have them washed and that's how we have the delicious sides for our lunch," said Talamantes.

Fresh fruits and veggies are a big part of the healthy atmosphere administrators at the school push.

"We really focus on what is the nutrient content of the items that we're procuring or putting on the menu in the first place are they whole grain-rich. What is the sodium level. What's the fat level such as that. But. Does it also appeal to the kids. Because what good is it unless it's appealing and familiar and tastes good," Louisa Kates, the director of nutrition for NEISD said.

Whether it's fruits or vegetables, a community garden or more physical fitness. The idea behind this healthy lifestyle is to last much longer than just elementary school.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​"This is something that affects students for the rest of their lives. If they can build these habits now when they are young, and try different foods, they can learn to make healthy choices along with exercise," Jenae Mai, principal at Colonial Hills Elementary said.

But it's not just the healthy food options that make the school healthy.

"There's also the physical activity component. So some of the things are extra P.E. time every week. Students have at least one hundred and fifty minutes a week of P.E., so they go extra time on Fridays," Mai said.

And now students like Sydney are noticing changes in what they want.

"I think the school has helped me, make better choices and have a healthier life," Talamantes said.


About the Author:

Max Massey

Max Massey joined KSAT 12 News in August 2017 as a general assignments reporter.