PORTLAND — Eight public elementary schools in Portland received a national award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture today for their efforts to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

The schools received the HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Award for emphasizing a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and other healthy foods.

The Portland schools that received the award are East End Community School, Hall, Longfellow, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Peaks Island, Presumpscot, Reiche and Riverton.

In total, 18 Maine schools received the award. Less than 2 percent of schools nationwide earned such a distinction.

First lady Michelle Obama will host a White House reception to recognize award winners at a date to be announced. Portland Public Schools plans to send a delegation.