Target: United States Department of Agriculture
Goal: Teach children the importance of proper nutrition to avoid the disposal of fresh food from school lunches
The Healthy, Hunger Free Act of 2011 was passed by the Department of Agriculture and exemplifies a responsible effort made to combat childhood obesity. Many health conscious parents were relieved to hear of the new healthier guidelines that became mandatory for school lunch programs to follow. However, the new and improved options which include fresh fruits and vegetables are being discarded to the trash cans as children refuse to eat them during lunch time.
According to the Feeding America website, in 2011 46.2 million Americans were in poverty, about 15 percent of the nation’s population. Therefore, the trashing of healthy food provided during lunch at schools should be unacceptable and avoided with the implementation of teaching that educate the children on poverty, health concerns which stem from poor diet, and ways in which to make nutritious food delicious. In an effort to gain popularity among the children it is important that the proper education and daily lifestyle changes are enforced by the parents and school administration.
Although it has been a historic protest among children to dislike healthy foods and reach instead for the cookie or piece of candy instead of the apple, the revised meal plan has greatly increased the amount of discarded food since it has first been established last year.
The participation of parents to replace after school snacks with more nutritious options, taking weekly trips to the farmer’s market to discuss different choices of food available to eat, and arranging fruits and vegetables in a creative way can alter a child’s perception of healthy food. Furthermore, school groups can be formed with the lunchroom staff to engage the students in food experiments and knowledge of where the food originates.
The revised school lunch program has been a great step in the right direction for nourishing the children of the future with healthy food choices. It is time for the parents and schools to implement a way to educate children on the importance of a healthy diet.
Dear Department of Agriculture,
I applaud the recent 2011 Healthy, Hunger Free Act that was passed to provide children with a healthier diet during school lunches. However, the protest of children continues to raise concern on ways to enforce the program in such a way that appeals to all the students. Of course, children notoriously dislike healthy foods, however with the proper encouragement and educational programs there is a chance to win the popularity of this improved diet in cafeterias around the nation.
The participation of parents to replace high caloric and fattening after school snacks to a more nutritious option, weekly trips to the farmer’s markets to discuss different options and origination of food, and arranging fruits and vegetables in a creative and collaborative way, can educate the children further on the importance of eating a well-rounded diet.
Furthermore, school groups can be formed with the lunchroom staff that engages the students in experimenting different food options while educating them on the fortunate ability they have to consume healthy food while 15 percent of Americans live in poverty.
This great program established to nurture the children of the future with healthy food must now be encouraged by the family and school administrators to ensure the future health of the nation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Flickr via Knowsley Council