The Culinary Institute of America's Menu for Healthy Kids
Influencing positive change in children’s health by creating smarter school foodservice operations and improving access to healthier and more flavorful school meals.
The Problem: Childhood Obesity
Obesity currently afflicts 23 million children and teenagers and the trend is growing.1 Since diet has a direct relationship to health, it is critical to educate school administrators, foodservice workers, teachers, and parents about how positive food choices and healthy eating behaviors can reduce the risks of obesity in kids and lead to a better quality of life. Schools enroll 95% of America’s young people and provide one to two meals to the majority of their students; they provide an optimal environment to shape children‘s eating habits for life.2
But, if kids don’t like the healthy school lunch and breakfast food choices they are offered; if administrators and foodservice directors don’t have the information and culinary skills they need to put good policies and plans into action; and if kids, their teachers, and their parents aren’t engaged in and committed to discovering a new world of healthy flavors, efforts at reform will fall short.
Positive Change Through Healthy School Lunches
We believe that more schools would succeed in their efforts to reform school food if information and resources were customized to school lunch programs, easier to understand, and centrally located. Menu for Healthy Kids is a national online repository of information and resources centered on school foodservice solutions. Our goal is to help school foodservice address childhood obesity and improve children’s health by reducing obesity levels and related chronic diseases. This resource will help key players create smarter school foodservice operations and healthier, more flavorful school meals.
Menu for Healthy Kids strives to:
- Educate all parties about the importance of making healthier choices.
- Provide access to good policies and plans already in use that addressing the problem of obesity in our kids.
- Improve the accessibility of information and resources available regarding healthy school lunch and breakfast food.
- Increase collaboration and dialog among individuals, institutions, and industry working to improve school food.
- Identify and promote best practices that are currently working in school foodservice.
- Create a dynamic virtual community for exchanging information and resources about food and food practices in schools and at home that help prevent obesity in kids and lead to improved child health.
PreventObesity.net: A Map of the Movement
PreventObesity.net supports all those working to change policies and environments to help children and families eat well and be more active, especially in communities at highest risk for obesity. By using technology to bring together a greater number of people who seek to improve the health of our children, families, and communities, PreventObesity.net hopes to create a network that becomes smarter and more helpful as more people use it.