The start of something new
At Galtier Magnet Elementary School, in St. Paul, Minnesota, menus include whole-grain bread and pasta, along with unsweetened applesauce for dessert. There’s also a salad bar stocked with greens, carrots, peas, and grape tomatoes. A sauce station offers seasonings — low-fat ranch dressing, soy sauce, Louisiana hot sauce. Many of the kids in St. Paul still eat tacos and macaroni and cheese, but the cafeteria makes lower-fat versions of both. They also get edamame and chicken stew, which add vital nutrients into their diet.
These new food options are a great example that every school should follow. Several kids do not even get vegetables in a lunch line let alone ponder the thought of eating them.
Michelle Obama has set an ambitious goal: to end the childhood-obesity epidemic within a generation. To do so she’s advocating for better food labeling, encouraging increased physical activity, engineering access to nutritious food for all Americans, and demanding healthy food for our nation’s schools. As she told us in June when Parents visited the White House, “The school piece remains a critical part [of the campaign], because millions of kids are getting two meals a day at school.” The plan: fighting against the conventional wisdom that children won’t eat food that’s good for them by encouraging everything from school gardens to partnerships between local chefs and lunchroom staff.
Michelle Obama is a supporter of the Lets move is a program that is striving for change in how students eat at home and at school. Many children consume at least half of their meals at school, and for many children, food served at school may be the only food they regularly eat. With more than 30 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 12 million participating in the School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever. Let’s Move! is committed to providing healthier foods in our nation’s schools, and encourages all schools to provide school breakfast.
Principles, teachers, school nutrition workers and parents can help make schools healthier places to learn by providing quality food and teaching children about the importance of nutrition and embracing a healthy active lifestyle. Looking for ways you can get involved in the healthy changes happening in the cafeteria? Check out the following tool kits from the US Department of Agriculture’s new resource for school meals