Starting this month, Buffalo Schools embarks on a program to encourage healthful eating by the 31,000 kids in its elementary schools through positive reinforcement. Rather than simply threatening children with the spectres of such obesityrelated ills as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, Buffalo Schools will offer small rewards—key chains, bracelets, etc.—for making "smart" food choices in school cafeterias..
The six-week, $450,000 initiative, called "Be a Power Eater: The Good Food for Great Kids Program," will encompass various strategies in different schools in an effort to determine which work best. At some sites, students will be asked to sign a personal promise to eat healthier, while others will compete for the chance to host a health-related event.
There will also be an educational component, with classroom lessons on nutrition and good food choices. The initiative is being coordinated by the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, a coalition of managed care organizations and community leaders.