REDFORD, Mich., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A pilot project at a Michigan elementary school wipes junk food off the school menu and pumps up the volume of dancing and running, the principal says.
"This is the year I cut off cupcakes," said Vandenberg Elementary School principal Syndee Malek. Healthy foods to honor a child's birthday can be shared at lunch or during recess, she said, "but we're not going to take up class time with foods that are unhealthy," the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
The school in Redford Township has been following a four-year Wellness Policy that has seen students belly up to a salad bar and run or walk a half mile daily.
The school has also cut out all fried food; fundraisers can't sell junk food and dodge ball games have replaced pizza parties, the newspaper said.
Vandenberg volunteered to be one of 50 schools to partake in the new Michigan Nutrition Standards to improve the quality of school food.
"It's kind of a leader in terms of what schools can do to promote student wellness and health," said Nicholas Drzal, a school nutrition specialist with the state Department of Education.
"I think we've all gone through life changes and seen how the choices you've made in your life have affected you physically," she said. "You just want a better life for your kids. And these are my kids," Malek said.