what YOU can do to make a difference!
to Your Kids!
Ask, listen and speak with your kids. Find out from them what they had
for lunch and speak together about the importance of developing healthy
Lunch At School
The USDA encourages parents to eat meals at school. A first-hand experience
will answer many of your questions regarding their lunch options and
eating habits. Do you like what you see and experience? Do the meals
satisfy your children's needs? If not, show you care and make a difference.
Your Home A Healthy Home
Keep your refrigerator stocked with healthy foods and cook healthy meals.
Use CHOICE recipes to encourage healthy eating.
with Other Parents
Make your opinions heard. Work with your PTA and school board to encourage
and support Healthy Meals for Healthy Kid's initiatives. Arrange for
a Nutrition Committee
Request that the PTA to establish a nutrition committee.
with Your Children's Teachers
Introduce CHOICE lesson plans and support materials. Arrange for classroom
presentations with local speakers.
with School Food Service Providers
Get to know the school food service providers and thank them for their
services. Let them know how important healthy plant-based meals are
to you and your children. Share recipes.
a Taste Testing Party
Volunteer to organize a classroom tasting party and introduce new foods
the kids may never have tried.
Request permission to survey students and assess their dietary needs
CHOICE provides support materials and individual guidance. Review the
Effecting Change section of this website and determine what you can
do in your local community.
the school should do!
Healthy Meals the Priority, At All Costs
Schools often choose to serve 'kid's favorites,' rather than healthy
meals. Instead, ask the school to choose healthy meals that kids like.
Work with students to identify those healthy menu items that are most
appealing to them, and serve those items more often.
Hands-on, Interactive Nutrition Education
plans include activities such as taste testing, food preparation, developing
menus, visiting farms to pick produce, planting seeds, etc. Research
has shown that children who have a direct connection with healthy foods
are more likely to include them in their diet.
The school food service should readily provide plant-based options in
the form of an alternative entree, nicely prepared vegetable side dishes
the Sale of Junk and Fast Foods
Parents to Lunch
Schools should encourage parents as partners in the Healthy Meals for
Healthy Kids initiative. It's important they are involved and aware
of school lunch procedures.
The key to introducing new meals is student involvement. Students should
be given the opportunity to help make the transition to healthier foods.
a Nutrition Committee
Forming a nutrition committee solidifies the school's commitment to
good health and nutrition.
NuMenus & 'Offer versus Serve
The NuMenu or Nutrient Standard system provides greater flexibility
in meal planning, and more readily guarantees a healthy meal.'Offer
versus serve' allows children to choose which items they will eat, thus
allowing children to eat only healthier selections.
Adequate, Readily Available
Fresh Water with Meals
Water is essential for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. When
children don't drink they become dehydrated, causing symptoms like headaches,
tiredness and loss of concentration. Chronic dehydration can lead to
constipation and kidney stones
the Cafeteria Inviting
Utilize the 'Healthy Cafeteria Checklist' put out by Team Nutrition.
And make the cafeteria look inviting by providing bright, good lighting,
plants, nutrition messages and aesthetically pleasing displays.
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