It’s time, time to start preparing for the school year. For many this means shopping for new clothes and classroom supplies and making decisions about how to tackle lunch for your little one. Parents are busy and mornings are hectic so why not enjoy the added convenience of school lunch?
Maine schools are leading the nation when it comes to healthy lunch options. Not only is the food more nutritious than in years past but school cafeterias are making it easier than ever for students to make healthy choices. By implementing changes such as these, the healthy choice becomes the easy choice.
- Fruit is always in at least two locations –increasing fruit selection by 103%.
- New and improved salad bars – Colorful salad bars located front and center increases student selection 200-300%.
- Milk is in the front of every cooler and water is easy to find – students are more likely to grab what’s in front of them.
- Students are involved in lunchroom improvements. For example, they influence the menu by taste testing and assist in the development of creative, descriptive names for food items (i.e., x-ray vision carrots). Renaming food items alone can triple consumption.
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Parents can feel good about giving up the bag lunches. A 2014 study conducted by Tufts University found that today’s school lunch is often healthier than the food in children’s lunchboxes. Lunches brought from home rarely include vegetables and are likely to contain packaged foods, sugary beverages, desserts, and more calories overall.
Advances in school nutrition mean a well-balanced, nutrient rich meal for less than $3 a day. When kids eat well it means that they can get back to learning feeling energized. Take advantage of the healthy changes in your child’s cafeteria and give school lunch another chance.