Parents & Kids
The School Lunch Conundrum
When it comes to positive messages getting through about healthy foods and smarter choices in the lunch line, the odds are against parents and kids alike. The jargon surrounding school lunches—what are commodity foods, and why are we feeding them to our children?—can be off-putting. Parents around the country are struggling to find ways to bring healthy foods into the cafeteria that their kids will eat. Kids are looking for options that are not only nutritious but also delicious.
A Healthy Recipe for Change for Our Kids
We all get stuck in ruts and need some encouragement to take a first step toward change. Whenever you are trying to encourage smarter food choices and healthy eating habits with your kids, you’ll have more success if you have a variety of tactics to employ:
- Learn about the foodservice program in your school district by visiting the school’s website or calling the district office. Better yet, arrange to come to school to eat lunch one day, and perhaps to volunteer as an aide.
- Read about current legislation that might affect your school lunch program, whether or not you are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
- Advocate for school lunch initiatives in your district like Let’s Move, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, farm-to-school programs, or edible schoolyards.
- Choose healthy recipes your kids will enjoy and prepare meals at home that feature fresh or minimally processed foods.
- Educate yourself about the healthy eating styles of traditional world cuisines, and broaden your horizons by adding more global flavors and ingredients to your home menus.
Healthy Eating—Kids and Parents Together
Recipe contests, vegetable carving competitions, and “world travel around the table” are just a few of the ways that parents and kids are breaking new ground in making school lunches healthier and more attractive. Menu for Healthy Kids provides creative ideas and attainable results for parents to get involved in their kids’ school lunch choices.