Monthly Archives: October 2015

Have a Healthy Halloween!

bat, pumpkin, ghost, boo

Happy and Healthy Halloween!

Halloween kicks off a season of treats. Many of the treats are sweet and contain added sugar, which is considered empty calories. In fact, in some foods, like most candies and sodas, all the calories are empty calories.

Families can still be mindful of healthy eating habits during celebrations. Here are some ideas.


Request for Indoor Recess Donations

The ESS PTA Wellness Committee is coming up with ideas for affordable, easy DIY games and activities that Panda families can print/create and donate to the school for use during indoor recess. We’ve found a number1FbHC of great ideas online that mostly consist of paper instructions and minimal supplies. Some things require a little DIY-ing, like some light sewing or cutting up pool noodles. If you’re so inclined, please help with printing, DIY-ing affordable items for donation.

There are some super cheap things the WC found that we could be passing on for use during indoor recess. We will keep a list of items here and will continue to add to the list. Feel free to use the Comment section to add your own ideas.

Spelling Battleship —

Pom Pom Soccer —

Decimal, Percent and Fraction Fun —

Paper Airplanes — 

Lego Game —

Lifesize Tic-Tac-Toe —

Let’s work together to get a big stash of indoor games and activities for the students so when it’s cold, rainy and freezing out there our students have some fun activities to keep them thinking and engaged. 

Empty Calories from Added Sugar

‘Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added when foods or beverages are processed or prepared.’
‘Many of the foods and beverages Americans eat and drink contain  empty calories which are calories from solid fats and/or added sugars. Solid fats and added sugars add calories to the food but few or no nutrients. For this reason, the calories from solid fats and added sugars in a food are often called empty calories… In most candies and sodas, all the calories are empty calories.
‘A small amount of empty calories is okay, but most people eat far more than is healthy. It is important to limit empty calories to the amount that fits your calorie and nutrient needs.’

National School Lunch Week is October 12-16, 2015

Check out your cafeteria and see all of the fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods and healthy snack choices that are available.’
‘Good nutrition helps support healthy bodies. Make your plate full with fruits and vegetables, remember whole grains, and don’t forget lean meats and fat free or 1 % milk.’ From the MCPS Division of Food and Nutrition Services, October 2015 Elementary School Menu
    • Current Elementary School Menus
    • Nutrition Requirements of School Meals
    • Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) Application
    • Frequently Asked Questions about FARMS
    • MCPS Food & Nutrition, Nutrient Data
    • MCPS Food & Nutrition, Allergen Data
    • Any elementary school child purchasing lunch is entitled to a free, 8 ounce bottle of water in compliance with U.S. Public Law 111-296 – SEC. 203. WATER.
      Section 9(a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758(a))
    • A variety of a la carte items are available in the school cafeteria separate from meals. All items available for sale are in compliance with JPG-RA. Wellness: Physical and Nutritional Health. An example of an a la carte item served at ESS ES is low fat ice cream, available for purchase on Wednesdays.
    • Parents have the ability to restrict the purchase of a la carte items. Contact the school cafeteria manager.
    • All school food purchases are tracked and an account history can be requested if there is a need to check how money is being spent.
    • The ESS ES share table is available for students to place food on that they may not want to eat.  It is then available for other students who may still be hungry.

Information Sources:

Wellness Reminders for Parents

  • Any MCPS elementary school child purchasing lunch is entitled to a free, 8 ounce bottle of water.
  • All MCPS parents have the ability to block their child’s purchase of a la carte items, such as ice cream and chips, so that they can only use their debit cards for a complete and balanced lunch. Call the office and ask to speak with the Cafeteria Manager .