The Problem with Your Child's School Lunch

Don't Just Get Angry ... Do Something

Be Realistic
In an ideal world, schools would serve more organic food, but most experts say that the current economic climate means that we need to set doable goals. Focus on requesting more fresh fruits and veggies, and adding whole-grain bread products.

Say No to Junk
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the notion that schools need to sell junk food to raise revenue is a myth. USDA studies have shown the average school uses revenue from NSLP meals to offset the costs of producing à la carte options.

Say Yes to Tastings
Kids love events with food. Hold a fruit festival where parent volunteers offer pears, papayas, and more. Or get students invested in what's being studied in class. If they're learning about the Middle East, try a tasting with hummus and tabbouleh.

Get Kids Growing
Plant a school garden, connect with a local farm, or just plant pots of herbs for the classroom windowsill. "When children grow food themselves, they want to eat it," says the founder of the fresh and local food movement in the United States, chef Alice Waters.

Recess Before Lunch
Researchers at Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, found that when recess was scheduled before lunch, students consumed significantly more food and nutrients than when play was after lunch.

Go to the Cafeteria
Everyone from lunch reformers to cafeteria managers insists that the best way to be informed is to experience it yourself. Reading weekly menus is no substitute for seeing, smelling, and tasting the food -- as well as checking out the ambience.

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