Strategy 1.2.1: Increase the rate of healthy eating by Minnesota children, youth and adults.

Strategy from the 2011-2020 Minnesota Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Plan

BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota - Healthy Eating Minnesota
BCBS of Minnesota's Prevention Minnesota has a Healthy Eating Minnesota initiative that uses a comprehensive approach to increase healthy eating.


Eat Well, Work Well
Eat Well Work Well is a Minnesota coalition that strives to help employers make eating well at work the easiest choice for their employees.


Farm to School
Farm to School Programs will help make the healthy choice the easy choice for students and school staff. Kids eat more fresh local foods and learn about where their food comes from, all while supporting local farmers. By connecting farms and schools, children, schools and farmers all benefit.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz
Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a nonprofit, Minnesota-based organization dedicated to helping kids ride into a healthier, happier childhood by providing bikes to children in need. The partnership between Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Allina Health was established in 2011 and approximately 5,000 refurbished bikes, new helmets and bike safety information are distributed annually.

Contact: Terry Esau
Phone: (612) 567-3245

Heart Beats Back - The Heart of New Ulm Project
The Heart of New Ulm is a project designed to reduce the number of heart attacks that occur in the New Ulm area over the next 10 years. This means helping residents improve their health risks, such as physical activity, nutrition, obesity, or tobacco use, among others. The project will involve community education, medical interventions and environmental changes. The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is working in close partnership with Allina Health and the New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) to support this project in the New Ulm Community.

Contact: Jackie Boucher
Phone: (612) 863-1636
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools
MDH and MDE are working on this national campaign to connect donors and schools to get a free salad bar in every school that wants one.

Contact: Lisa Gemlo, Farm to School Coordinator
Phone: (651) 201-3537

Health Powered Kids
Health Powered Kids™ is a program that provides schools and families fun, easy-to-use information about health and wellness. And, it empowers children and teens to make healthy choices about what to eat, how to stay active and manage stress. Health Powered Kids™ includes: School-based lessons and activities on nutrition, physical fitness and mind-body balance; Activities for families to do at home and in their community; Workshops and events for children, teens, teachers and parents that focus on healthful activities, such as meal planning, illness prevention, exercising and health screenings; Mind-body activities for stress-reduction and relaxation; Health-incentive tools, such as pedometers, jump ropes and water bottles; and Health and wellness information available through the internet and printed materials

Contact: Susan Nygard
Phone: (612) 262-4946

Health Promotion and Prevention Partnership (HP3)
The HP3 Program is a partnership between Allina and local communities in greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin to promote health through prevention and wellness programs in primary care settings, administered by the George Family Foundation. HP3 will work with 12 communities in Minnesota. Each community will receive $475,000 over three years.

Contact: Gayle Ober
Phone: (612) 377-3356
Contact: Bror Herrick
Phone: (612) 262-5955

Food Industry - Voluntary Sodium Reduction

Some Minnesota-based food companies have voluntarily made a commitment to reduce the sodium in their foods such as General Mills, Schwan Food Company and Target.

Great Trays

Great Trays can help schools provide nutritious meals by sharing information, tools and resources that are based on the USDA's proposed rule for the National School Lunch Program nutrition standards that includes:

  • Increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals.
  • Reduces the levels of sodium and saturated fat in meals.

The Great Trays Partnership provides active training for food service staff and encourages participation in a statewide cooperative to purchase healthy food at great prices.


Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids
The Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids Team is proud to partner with key education and health organizations—Minnesota School Nutrition Association, Minnesota School Boards Association, School Nurses Organization of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota PTA , MDH, United Way of Greater Twin Cities and Catalyst, a state youth advocacy organization.


Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

President Obama signed the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Act of 2010 on December 13, 2010 and it is the nation's effort to provide all children with healthy food in schools. The Act improves nutrition and focuses on reduing childhood obesity by:

  • Giving the USDA the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day.
  • Providing additional funding to schools that meet updated nutritional standards for federally-subsidized lunches.
  • Helping communities establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, and ensures that more local foods are used in the school setting.
  • Building on USDA work to improve nutritional quality of commodity foods.
  • Expands access to drinking water in schools.


MDH - Nutrition
It is the role of the Minnesota Department of Health to support efforts that:

  • Promote healthy eating
  • Stop or slow down food related disease through screening and detection
  • Improve the quality of life for those already diagnosed with a chronic disease

Contact: Donna McDuffie
Phone: (651) 201-5493

MDH - SagePlus Program*

SagePlus provided low-income, underinsured or uninsured 40-64 year old women with knowledge, skills, and opportunities to improve their diet, physical activity, and other life habits to prevent, delay or control cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.  After an initial screening, which includes blood pressure, blood glucose, lipids, and weight, women receive risk reduction information tailored to their results and are offered the opportunity to participate in a year-long effort to improve their heart health.  Women may choose to work on diet, physical activity, tobacco cessation, or other health behaviors that impact their heart health.  Women who agree to commit to lifestyle change are assisted in designing specific, achievable, measurable steps to reach their goals.  SagePlus provides counseling, support, encouragement, as well as coordinating two optional activities designed to help women become more active and to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Program ended 06/30/2013.

Phone: 651-201-5600

MDH - Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives*

Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP)
SHIP works to prevent disease before it starts by helping create healthier communities that support individuals seeking to make healthy choices in their daily lives. SHIP works on the areas of community, school, workplace and health care toward sustainable, systemic changes that create widespread, lasting results. Instead of focusing on individual behavior change that may be hard to maintain over time, SHIP makes sustainable changes that support individual choices about health. SHIP 1.0 funded all 53 Community Health Boards and 9 out of 11 tribal governments throughout the state. The current SHIP 2.0 grant funds 17 Community Health Boards and 1 tribal government. Healthy eating strategies include:

  • Child care healthy food environment (5 grantees)
  • Community health food environments (12 grantees)
  • Farm to school and/or school gardens (10 grantees)
  • Healthy school food options (14 grantees)
  • Innovative breastfeeding (2 grantees)
  • Comprehensive Worksite (9 grantees)


Community Transformation Grant (CTG)

CTG in Minnesota is helping control health care spending and create a healthier future by decreasing chronic diseases through decreasing exposure to tobacco, increasing physical activity and healthy eating, and improving health care preventative services. In 2011 Minnesota was awarded $3.6 million per year for five years for CTG by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The five-year CTG project period runs through September 2016.

CTG will support health improvement activities in local communities, building on strengths, minimizing duplication of efforts and maximizing impact. Five current grantees with a high need and proven capacity were chosen, representing a large region of Northern Minnesota:
- Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis-Aitkin-Itasca-Koochiching
- Clay-Wilkin-Becker-Otter Tail
- Leech Lake Tribal Community
- Morrison-Todd-Wadena-Cass
- North Country-Polk-Mahnomen-Norman


MDH - WIC Program*

The Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program is a special supplemental nutrition program for income-eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age five.


Medical Nutrition Therapy
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a covered expense for MN Health Care Programs. MNT is described as a preventive health service designed to assess and minimize the problems hindering normal nutrition, and to improve the patient's nutritional status. MNT services may be provided in a physician's office, clinic, or outpatient hospital setting. Medical necessity must be documented in the recipient’s medical record.


Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program

The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program is a unique public/private partnership whose mission is to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of agriculture.

Al Withers, MAITC Program Coordinator
Phone: (952) 288-3905

Neighborhood Health Connection
Neighborhood Health Connection is a regional community program developed by Allina Health that gives people the tools they need to create stronger connections with their neighbors, and offers fun, creative ways to make their communities healthier. The goal is to help neighbors make new personal connections and strengthen existing ones through engaging in healthy activities.

Contact: Ruth Hampton Olkon
Phone: (612) 262-4430

The President's Network
The mission of The President's Network (TPN) is relentless commitment to creative and sustainable worksite health programs that stem the rising cost of health care, increase productivity, and enhance the quality of life of American workers and their families. TPN is working on necessary policy and systems level changes in worksites to create and advance employee and employer health with a major focus on cardiovascular health and associated risk factors. TPN is working with MDH and BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota.

Contact: Don Klassen
Phone: (612) 868-9816

HealthPartners yumPower is all about finding tasty, good-for-you foods that power your body and help you live the best life possible. After all, when you eat better, you feel better! With tasty tips and useful resources, yumPower makes it easy to find better-for-you foods that are full of flavor and fun.



If you would like to report current activity around this strategy, please contact Sueling Schardin at (651) 201-4051 or

* Addresses health disparities





Updated Tuesday, 26-Nov-2013 10:58:34 CST