Friday, October 10, 2014

School Daze: Want to Improve School Food? What We Need From Parents

An important stakeholder is often left out of the school lunch improvement movement - parents.  Some organizations do call for parents to get involved by meeting with school nutrition directors and serving on wellness committees. But more than activists, we need parents who can raise children, tweens, and teens:
  • who will try new foods, especially vegetables
  • who don't mind if their food touches
  • who will try whole grains at home, as that is what we, by regulation, must serve in schools
  • who have good manners and can talk quietly while eating, to make the dining experience more enjoyable for all
  • who say please and thank you to the lunch servers who are serving them
  • who are limiting salt consumption at home by not having salt shakers on the table and by choosing no salt added and low or reduced sodium foods, as that is what we, by regulation, must serve in schools
  • who know what the Two Bite Club is
  • who want to include at least one fruit or a veg with every meal
  • who will choose foods other than pizza, nuggets and burgers when they eat out, as that is essentially what eating schools meals is-eating out
  • who will not choose more food than they will eat, to reduce waste and keep costs down so that saved money can be put into other food improvement efforts
Some of these things are just good practices, good life long habits, and common sense. But these are ways you can do your part to improve school food.

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