A Tremendous Year in Review: The Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2011

December 29, 2011

This has been an amazing year of news and great conversation about healthy school communities. We’ve blogged about school food, health and wellness, school nurse leadership, current events, our favorite recipes and much more. 

Your support and dialogue continues to make our blog community thrive. We love our loyal readers and the new visitors who stop by! 

Here are our top 10 most popular blogs thanks to you, our readers!

10. Healthy Schools Campaign Wants Your Ideas: Ideas for Health & Wellness Contest!

Have you made a difference for wellness at your school? Do you have tips for healthy fundraising? Ever help implement physical activity or nutrition education activities? Well, we want to hear from you! You're invited to participate in HSC's Ideas for Health & Wellness contest.

9. Cooking up Change in Denver!

In just a few weeks, teams of aspiring chefs from high schools in Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Washington, DC and Winston-Salem will compete in the national finals of HSC's Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest in Washington, DC. The students, who have all won their city's local qualifying contest, will present healthy school lunches that meet high nutrition standards and many of the constraints faced in school food service.

8. Friday Recipe: Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes and Mashed Potato Frosting

The art of the cupcake has recently taken this country by storm. Cupcake-only bakeries are popping up all over the place and networks like TLC and the Food Network have new shows dedicated to the tiny cakes. I never jumped on the cupcake bandwagon for the sole reason that I’m not a baked-goods person — but I have to admit there are times I wish I were because the cupcake of today is pretty much a work of art and comes in tons of unique flavors. Plus, the concept of eating a miniature version of something is always appealing.

7. Breakfast in the Classroom in Chicago Public Schools: HSC's Perspective

Here in Chicago, the hot topic in school food recently has been Breakfast in the Classroom — and more specifically, the recent decision by the Chicago Board of Education to provide Breakfast in the Classroom to students in all of the district’s elementary schools. This plan has generated both enthusiastic support and vocal opposition. HSC supports this new policy of bringing Breakfast in the Classroom to all CPS elementary schools.

6. Friday Recipe, Grilling Edition: Cedar Plank Salmon

Chicago is an amazing city to be in during the summer, and you know warm weather is rolling in when you see people jogging on the lakefront, advertisements for Blues Fest and the Taste of Chicago go up and the smell of grilling begins wafting through your open windows around dinner time.

5. Bed Bugs in Schools: Don't Panic! Education is Key to a Pest-Free School

What do you do if you get a letter from the principal saying that bed bugs have been found in your school?  Well, first of all, don’t panic, because bed bugs in schools do not mean there is an infestation, only that some bugs have been found.

4. What Most People Don’t Know About School Nurses Is. . .

Here at HSC, we love working with school nurses! Through our School Nurse Leadership Training and school nurse advocacy efforts, we've met school nurses who are remarkable champions for wellness in their schools and advocates for health at the local, state and national levels.

3. Healthy Lunch Ideas, Bento Box Edition!

Recently I was introduced to the Bento Box, a style of lunch box that originated in Japan. But this is no ordinary lunch box, and after doing some research I fell in love with the idea.

2. Rewarding Students Without Candy: Tips for Teachers

Many teachers are uncomfortable using candy as an incentive for their students, yet they want to be able to reward good behavior and academics — and candy is a cheap way to do so.  However, this type of reward can have negative consequences: in addition to reinforcing unhealthy habits, candy rewards can contribute to decreased student performance at school after students eat candy.

(Drum roll, please!)

And now for the top Healthy School Campaign blog post …

1. Pizza Counts as a Vegetable? How the Spending Bill in Congress Could Unravel Progress on School Nutrition

This week Congress is supposed to vote on a spending bill to keep the government running, a bill that because of last-minute additions now contains language that allows pizza to be counted as a vegetable in a school lunch. 

Happy New Year from all of us at HSC!