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The attention that school lunch food has been getting lately—through programs like Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution—is beginning to change the way Americans look at the food we give our kids. You can kick start a movement at your school in several ways- you can plant a school vegetable garden to help students understand where food comes from, or you can work with students to prepare fresh meals or snacks that they can enjoy on the spot. And don’t forget about the opposite end of the lunch period—what about hosting a waste-free lunch day?
- Investigate how food is purchased and brought to your school.
- Learn what initiatives for healthy food in schools are already in place.
- Connect with community partners who can bring expertise and resources to help make school lunches healthier and bring fresh food to students.
- Institute a waste-free lunch day and make it a recurring event.
- Consider hosting a taste test and educate your taste testers. Consider samples of:
- Tap water vs. bottled water
- Local vegetables vs. canned veggies
- Organic vs. non-organic
- Set up a school garden to teach students about where their food comes from.
- School gardens can be wonderful teaching tools and inspiration for students, but they must be maintained. If you’re bringing one to your school, ensure that you have spoken to your school district staff and that there is a maintenance plan in place with the necessary resources to make it sustainable in the long-term.
- School garden resources:
- Healthy lunch resources:
- Find Healthy Lunch Toolkits from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
- Waste free lunch resources: