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.

Center for Prevention 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.

Website: Eat Well Work Well

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.
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
Website: Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools

Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP)
The HCP program is a partnership between Allina and local communities in greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin to promote health through prevention and wellness programs, administered by the George Family Foundation. In its second year, HCP has engaged more than 10,000 residents in 13 communities in screenings, health coaching, health challenges, worksite wellness programs and more. A hospital system in each community engaged local wellness resources to identify specific community needs, fill gaps and create a tighter social wellness network. Each community receives $475,000 over three years.

Contact: Courtney Jordan Baechler
Phone: (612) 863-6123
Contact: Nathan Kreps
Phone: (612) 863-1078

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 helped 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 provided active training for food service staff and encourages participation in a statewide cooperative to purchase healthy food at great prices.

Website: Great Trays

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.

Website: Action for Healthy Kids-Minnesota

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.

Website: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

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
Website: Nutrition: Healthy Eating

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 in 2013

MDH - Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives*
The Statewide Health Improvement Program (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. Community health boards and tribal governments were invited to apply for competitive SHIP grants in spring 2009 and fall 2011. SHIP works in the areas of community, school, workplace and health care toward sustainable, systemic changes that create widespread, lasting results.

MDH received a federal Community Transformation Grant (CTG) that also supports the healthy eating strategies in northern Minnesota.

Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives

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.

Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program

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.

Website: Physician and Professional Services, scroll down to Medical Nutrition Therapy

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
Website: Minnesota Ag in the Classroom

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

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

* Addresses health disparities





Updated Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 12:53PM