Schools get healthy in October
What: The focus on children’s diets is an important issue these days, and many schools have gotten on board to fight childhood obesity. A well-balanced, nutritious lunch not only helps kids stay fit and healthy, but keeps them energized throughout the day. Help children eat better in school and celebrate National School Lunch Week, observed Oct. 15 to 19.
Background: National School Lunch Week, sponsored by the School Nutrition Association, is all about making healthy, nutritious choices available in school cafeterias. This year celebrates the positive changes that have taken place in school lunch programs across the United States. The number of healthy breakfast and lunch choices in schools continues to grow as schools put more emphasis on nutrition.
Story Pitch: A wide number of groups and organizations can celebrate healthy, nutritious lunches during School Lunch Week. Local farms and farmers’ markets may discuss the importance of fresh fruits and veggies in a child’s diet. They can educate parents and children on seasonal foods and how to determine the freshness of foods. Dieticians and nutritionists can discuss the importance of a balanced diet for children. Schools can promote the healthy options being offered in their cafeterias, while grocers can campaign around this event by urging consumers to choose the healthier selections when buying groceries.
Story Hook: According to the Centers for Disease Control, most United States youth do not meet the recommended two-and-a-half to six-and-a-half cups of vegetables and fruits a day. Consider the following when you make your pitch:
- What are some ways you can encourage children to make healthy food choices?
- How can schools integrate fruits and veggies into their daily meal options?
- What can parents do to emphasize the importance of a well-balanced lunch?
- How are school cafeterias improving in terms of their lunch choices?
Tips: A dietician or nutritionist can share good tips on how to integrate fruits and veggies into a child’s diet. They can also recommend some better lunch choices over the standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In addition, a mom who gets creative with lunch and packs healthy but unique choices can provide great insight and tips on how to get kids eating better.
Centers for Disease Control
Food Research and Action Center
School Nutrition Association
United States Department of Agriculture
–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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