ATLANTA, GA: October 11, 2006 – Horizon Software International, LLC, a global leader in software, services and technologies for food service operations, announces today the Healthy Child Campaign, an initiative that will help schools teach children about the importance of healthy eating habits, give students healthy food choices and enable parents to be involved in their child’s nutrition away from home. The campaign will encompass four separate aspects: HealthSmartT, Horizon One SourceT, Healthy VendingT and MealpayPlusT. This campaign is already having an impact on students nationwide in Horizon’s approximately 15,000 school site installations.
“The health of our student population should be a serious concern of every citizen of this country,” said Bob Williamson, Chairman and CEO of Horizon Software International, LLC. “Obesity is an epidemic that affects 12,000,000 children! Horizon takes this threat seriously and we have made this issue one of our top corporate priorities. We have developed the Healthy Child Campaign to emphasize three main factors in keeping our children healthy: education, schools providing healthy food choices and parental involvement.”
HealthSmart is a professionally developed nutrition education curriculum that provides teachers with background information, lesson plans, classroom discussions, student activities and worksheets. HealthSmart provides separate grade level programs for K – 12, and presents current nutrition and activity information in a fun format that uses videos, games and quizzes to reinforce learning. HealthSmart teaches children in the classroom about healthy eating habits that will enable them to make healthy choices in the lunchroom.
The second part of the Healthy Child Campaign is to offer nutritious choices. This is done through Horizon OneSource, a food service management application that is designed to manage every aspect of back office and point of service operations, and Healthy Vending.
Horizon One Source is a comprehensive enterprise-wide system containing some 28 modules for managing food service operations. In addition to its chain supply management and production capabilities, Horizon OneSource has functionality that enables users to plan healthy meals that meet federal guidelines for providing the daily nutritional requirements of students. A nutrition analysis of meals that can be performed in just seconds can help ensure that students receive nutritious meals and snacks.
Horizon One Source back office modules are tightly integrated with its point of service system. Students utilize this system to pay for their meals as they come through serving lines. The point of service system displays messages, notes and dietetic information, as well as provides a picture ID for student identification. It also notifies students as to which choices are healthy choices through signage. Parents can also block foods that they do not desire their child to have and/or are allergic to through the POS message system to the cashiers.
Healthy Vending, a software technology that connects all vending machines to the central POS system, is another important component of the Healthy Child Campaign, as junk food from vending machines is one of the primary reasons for extra weight in students. These unique vending machines are Horizon OneSource Smart EnabledT, meaning they can “talk” to computers. They can identify students making purchases and track what foods and drinks each child is buying from the machines. Parents can monitor their child’s purchases via the Internet by providing child-specific information. Nutritional value of items can also be viewed by users with the touch of a key, and will aid children in learning about the nutritional value of the foods they eat. Healthy choices in the machines are determined through back office menu planning and nutrition analysis via Horizon OneSource.
The fourth component of the Healthy Child Campaign is MealpayPlus. MealpayPlus is a prepayment system that enables parents to make online or phone payments for their child’s meals at school. The software allows parents to view their child’s balance at any time, as well as check payment history. Parents using MealpayPlus are able to log directly on to their child’s account and, using the history feature, view what their child has bought with their lunch money – soda or water, fruit or cookies, vegetables or ice cream, etc. This software technology can help parents manage their child’s eating habits at school and allows them to become more knowledgeable about their child’s nutrition.
All components of the Healthy Child Campaign work to aid schools across the nation to do their part to overcome child obesity. According to the US Surgeon General, the number of overweight children in the United States has doubled and the number of overweight adolescents has tripled since 1980. By schools utilizing HealthSmart, Horizon OneSource, MealpayPlus, and Healthy Vending, parents can be assured that their children are eating healthy at school, which will translate into better overall nutrition.
Mesa County Valley School District #51 in Mesa, CO is in the process of implementing the Healthy Child Campaign into their school system. “Children spend one-third of their day at school. So we feel it is essential that schools have the tools they need to offer nutrition and wellness education to assist in making wise choices, as well as the ability for parents to become informed on how to help their children make those decisions for life-long wellness,” said Dennis Barrett, Director of Food Service for Mesa County Valley School District #51.
For more information on the Healthy Child Campaign and Horizon Software International, LLC, visit www.horizon-boss.com or call 1-800-741-7100.