Tray Talk: Learn More About Healthy School Lunches

This summer I had the privilege of attending the School Nutrition Association’s National School Lunch Conference on behalf of the SNA. I wrote about everything I learned here. I was amazed by how much school lunches have changed since I was in school. I am happy to partner with them to share this post.

The School Nutrition Association has a great website called Tray Talk that was created for parents to get the facts about school meals. Parents can get answers about the nutritional values of lunches, how school nutrition programs are working to make healthy meals kid-friendly, learn more about how special dietary needs are handled and a variety of other questions.

The site also gives parents ideas of how to get involved. The three simple steps the site suggests include:

  • Review cafeteria menus with your child and encourage them to try new menu items. Prepare new foods – especially fruits and vegetables – at home and your child may be more willing to try these foods at school.
  • Visit the school cafeteria to make your own observations and have lunch. Check with the principal first to make sure that is allowed!
  • Inquire about volunteer opportunities in your school cafeteria.  Some schools request parent volunteers to help usher students through the lunch line and encourage them to eat their fruits and vegetables.  Many school districts have a wellness committee comprised of community volunteers, to help establish district nutrition and physical activity policies.
I also loved reading about the success stories that other schools have shared. It’s fun seeing what other districts are doing to get their children excited about eating healthy meals. I wish they had things like cooking contests, spinach-strawberry salads, and farm tours to see how food was grown when I was younger! Want to learn more? Check out Tray Table on Facebook!

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