By Adrienne Moore

MANTECA (CBS13) – Prioritizing student health has earned a Manteca elementary school national recognition as one of “America’s healthiest schools.”

From the court to the cafeteria, students at Woodward Elementary are proud to tell you what’s on their plate.

“A sandwich, a yogurt and applesauce,” said first-grader Brynn Boswell.

“I have yogurt, which I’m going to eat last because it’s dessert for me,” said Jacqueline Eme, another first grader.

Those healthy choices are now being celebrated on a national level, with the school being named to the 2018 list of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

“We all know that when they learn things young they carry on to behaviors later on in life,” said Principal Sherrie Jamero.

So, how’d they take a bite out of the competition?

They met a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students an hour or more of PE per week, offering daily breakfast, teaching health and wellness in the classroom and offering an after-school activity to keep students moving.

In Woodward’s case, they started a running club.

“Health and wellness, that’s not just for school, that’s for life,” said program coordinator Erin Williams.

The principal says the school has even made some big changes to classroom parties. Instead of having cupcakes and other not-so-healthy goodies, students are rewarded with pencils and awards.

Woodward Elementary is one of 461 schools to make the list.

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