Think back to when you were back in primary or secondary education. For some of us, this is quite the brain exercise to think back that far, but I know you can do it! Now that you are back in primary or secondary education think about what you had to eat at school.
Did you eat school lunch?
Did you bring your own school lunch?
Did you like school lunch?
What was your favorite school lunch?
Do you think school lunch has changed since you were in school?
When was the last time you had school lunch?
Did you know that the National School Lunch program is regulated to make sure students have nutritious meals?
There is a lot of misinformation about school lunch as being unfit for children. However, did you know that school lunch must meet nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Currently, the National School Lunch program has increased the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on the school menu. There are also caloric limits per different age groups (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) to ensure age-appropriate meals.
For instance, chocolate milk. Chocolate milk gets a bad rap as providing too much sugar and calories in a child’s diet. But did you know that over the last 6 years chocolate milk for schools have been reformulated to only provide lower calories and sugar. The sugar found in chocolate milk does not only contain natural sugar (just like fruit has natural sugar) but provides less than 3.5% of a child’s overall sugar intake. And for only 122 calories per serving! Chocolate milk also provides the same great taste and nutrition profile (9 essential nutrients) as regular milk.
So before you say something negative about the school lunch program, I challenge you to try it! Since the National School Lunch program began in 1946 over 224 billion lunches have been served. In 2012 alone, the National School Lunch program served more than 31.6 million children. This costs $11.6 billion dollars…and that’s just for lunch! That is not only making an impact on your students nutrition but also the students who may live in poverty!
Find ways to help your school by working with the school food service director!