EAT

It is the policy of Healthy Living Matters to support access to, and age appropriate serving sizes of, healthy foods for all children in Harris County.  The following strategies are endorsed by Healthy Living Matters to support the overall nutrition policy:

1.Support legislation and policies at the state level that incent the purchase of healthy foods with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars.

2.Advocate for the development and passage of a state law to create a grocery/food* store loan program to address the problem of urban food deserts. (*Not limited to grocery stores, may include local grocers, etc.) 

3.Support development and adoption of local laws to promote breastfeeding in Harris County, including recognizing designated breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, legally protecting breastfeeding mothers from harassment in public and while at work, and ensuring mothers are guaranteed a Mothers’ Bill of Rights.

4. Encourage cities to implement a program that utilizes available public lands in Harris County for the development of community gardens, and farmer’s markets.

5. Encourage school districts and appropriate public programs to increase awareness and promotion of school food options for low-income students during the summer.

6. Advocate for low-fat, low-calorie drinks in schools and childcare facilities

 

PLAY

It is the policy of Healthy Living Matters to promote opportunities for safe, adequate, and appropriate physical activity for all children in Harris County. The following strategies are endorsed by Healthy Living Matters to support the overall physical activity policy:

7. Support the development and adoption of “Safe Neighborhoods” Policy:

  • Eradication of abandoned houses,
  • Ensure sufficient public safety officer coverage,
  • Improve animal control efforts to reduce stray animals,
  • Fix streets & sidewalks/Safe Routes to Schools/Build sidewalks in new developments,
  • Improve lighting in streets and parks,
  • Support the ongoing development of safe trails and parks, such as the Bayou Greenway Initiative and Utility Corridor Improvements 

8.Hold Harris County School Health Advisory Committees (SHACs) accountable for having physical activity (PA) subcommittees, and encourage them to support joint use agreements between school districts and the surrounding community.

9. Increase middle school physical education (PE) requirements to 6 semesters, high school PE requirements to 1.5 semesters, and make 1 semester of health education required for graduation.

10. Institute a Texas policy on recess that encourages age appropriate outdoor playtime.

11. Encourage the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to conduct a study and establish guidelines for outdoor features on public school campuses to maximize outdoor physical activity.

 

LEARN

It is the policy of Healthy Living Matters to promote health education opportunities related to nutrition, physical education, and general healthy living for all children, families and caregivers in Harris County. The following strategies are endorsed by Healthy Living Matters to support the overall health education policy:

12. Workplace wellness: develop guidelines to educate and incent school teachers and childcare providers to eat healthy and be physically fit as role models for children.

13. Support a comprehensive “Community Health Literacy” strategy:

  • Support a campaign  on  healthy eating for families,
  • Expand community education programs on how to cook healthy,
  • Expand public programs that  teach  community and backyard gardening, and
  •  Support legislation to expand coordinated school health strategies to grades 9-12.

14. Establish state, city, and/or county healthy schools and healthy child care recognition programs.

15. Promote outdoor classrooms and incorporate action-based learning into core curriculum learning to increase physical activity in Harris County school districts.