Is there a way to incorporate more healthy food in schools
? Schools definitely try to provide lunches that are nutritious for children, but most school menus offer fast food, French fries and greasy pizzas as their main entrees.
Unfortunately, so many American children are obese
due to the intake of sugar-laden and fatty foods in their diet. There are others who are suffering from malnourishment or diet-related challenges such as diabetes.
Schools have the opportunity to help these problems by offering healthier food choices
during the lunch hour. Studies have shown that when children eat healthier foods
and drink more water, their behavior improves, learning is increased and truancies are significantly lower due to fewer illnesses.
Does the offering of healthy food in schools
truly impact the students? Yes! A healthy lunch made up of fresh, whole foods, rather than processed ones, are more likely to keep your child’s mind sharp and focused on learning. Foods that are high in sugar and fat tend to make anyone feel sluggish and sleepy. Children who eat these sugar and fat laden foods for lunch are likely to zone out during their afternoon classes and miss half, if not all, of their lessons for the day.
Begin at home by teaching your children about healthier food choices
. Then, when they are at school, they might be more apt to choose a salad over French fries and a grilled chicken sandwich over a burger. Encourage them to drink water or milk instead of soda and juices.
If you are hesitant to allow your child to choose healthy food
in school, send along a lunch with them containing foods that will keep them alert and ready to learn throughout the afternoon.
There are schools that have begun to include organic foods and ingredients in an effort to offer healthier food during the lunch hour. Healthy food in schools
could include offerings of salads, more whole fruits and vegetables, grilled meats, and more whole grain breads and pastas. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Schools could utilize local farmers who produce organic vegetables, eggs, meats and fruits. Not only are they offering more healthy food in school
, they are helping their own community’s economy.
Vending machines that offer healthy snacks are another way to get healthy food in school. Remove the sweet chocolate bars, cakes, and sugar-laden candies. Replace them with granola or protein bars, pretzels, whole grain and organic snacks
that offer solid nutritional value rather than filling the children with empty calories.
In addition to giving children healthy food choices in school, education on nutrition is essential for them to understand why vitamins, protein and fiber are important for their overall health.
If they grasp the reasons behind eating healthy
, they may be more likely to do so in order to excel in school, sports, music, or anything in which they are interested. They will also miss out on the childhood obesity epidemic
that is taking over our children.
It’s important for schools to educate their students on the long-term effects of eating healthy as opposed to eating foods that aren’t as good for them. A good foundation can be laid early on in the area of nutrition and as a result, as the children grow into adults, they’ll likely have fewer health problems.
Offering healthy food in school
is possible, even if over time, if parents and educators join together to make it happen.