Although some elementary school students complained about more nutritious school lunches when they were first introduced in 2012, they like them now, according to a peer-reviewed study in Childhood Obesity released Monday.
More than 500 public schools participated in the study with most coming from the southern region of the United States and rural areas.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed administrators about the students’ reactions to new meals with standards s presented in the 2012-2013 school year. The new standards required that half of grains offered must be whole-grains, both a fruit and vegetable must be offered daily, milk must be nonfat or low-fat, and no trans-fats. The rules were created to address childhood obesity and were given a public relations push by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The study found that 70 percent of schools reported that students seem to like their new lunches. Fifty-six percent said that students complained at first, while 64 percent of schools agree that few students continue to complain about the lunches. Sixty-three percent of students are no longer concerned about the new changes, according to the research.
“This significant study reinforces what we have known all along: America’s school lunch program works,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “We hope this sends a strong message to Congress that schools should not be allowed to withdraw from or delay any federal nutrition standards. By doing so, we may forfeit the fight against childhood obesity, and jeopardize our kids’ health.”
Excerpt from the American Heart Association’s blog.heart.org. Read the full post here.
I hope everyone had a great summer with friends and family. But, now it’s time to get ready to go back to school. Its fun to get new school supplies, new clothes, a new backpack, and of course a new lunchbox. Just remember that the food inside your lunchbox is the most important part.
Packing your lunchbox can be fun! Be creative. Use cookie cutters and make fun shapes with your sandwiches, fruits and vegetables. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon and cucumber work best with cookie cutters. Don’t forget to use all of those yummy fruits and veggies you have been growing in your garden.
Lettuce and tomatoes are very tasty on a sandwich Make bags ahead of time with your favorite veggies so they’re east to grab and go in the morning. If you happen to have an apple tree, pick an apple for yourself and don’t forget your teacher!
|Karly’s Healthy School Lunch:
1 8 inch whole-wheat flour tortilla
2 tblsp. prepared pizza sauce
12 leaves baby spinach
3 tblps. shredded part skim mozzarella
Place tortilla on a plate and spread pizza sauce over it. Top with an even layer of spinach and sprinkle cheese on top. Microwave on high until the cheese is just melted about 45 seconds. Carefully roll the tortilla up. Let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces, if desired. Pack the slices in a medium container.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy school year!
Karly Smith is our newest Teaching Gardens volunteer. She’s 11 years old, and loves to help kids learn about healthy cooking and eating.
Read her full blog here