This semester Health and Wellness Director Brad Rose collaborated with Decatur Central’s food services department to introduce the Healthy Hawks program to all students enrolled at the high school. The healthy eating initiative focuses on educating students about the nutritional value of dishes available for breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria. The overall purpose of the program is to inform Decatur Townshipstudents on proper nutrition to fuel themselves based on their activity level and fitness goals.

With the roll out of Healthy Hawks, breakfast and lunch menus will designate items that are high in protein, plant-based, lean, less calories, or at least 20 grams of protein and less than 15 grams of fat per serving. These high protein foods will be labeled with a “strong arm” emoji while nutrient-rich foods, such as applesauce and hummus, will be labeled with a “thumbs up” emoji within the cafeteria line. The food services department will also start implementing a “Food of the Week” item in effort to introduce students to new, healthy foods like various fruits and vegetables. In addition to the introduction of new, healthy foods and labeling system, physical education classes will also incorporate nutrition lessons and guest speakers through its new partnership with the Marion County Health Department. Topics will include the importance of proper nutrition and how proper nutrition can help prevent chronic ailments and other diseases. Looking ahead, Rose hopes to implement the Healthy Hawks program throughout the entire Decatur Township school system to teach all students how to become cognizant of the ingredients in foods and help them make informed, educated decisions on what they want to put in their bodies.