By: Mission Healthy Living
September 17, 2015
One of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle is a nutritious diet. During the academic year, students consume almost half of their daily caloric intake at school, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Therefore, it's up to the school districts to provide healthy, nutritious meals during the school day that meet federal school meal standards. Students need the proper fuel to not only help them prepare for a day of learning, but to sustain them throughout the day and help maintain energy and focus in the classroom.
Between 2000 and 2014, as reported by the CDC, schools in the U.S have:
- Offered two or more fruit options every day for lunch
- Used low-sodium canned vegetables
- Used alternative seasonings instead of salt
- Offered two or more vegetable options every day for lunch
- Reduced salt content in menu options
School meals now are healthier than ever before but there's always room for improvement, according to the CDC.
Locally, the Pottstown School District (PSD) is qualified for a federally funded free meal program which equips it to serve all students K through 12th grade both breakfast and lunch at school. Also, the district requests that parents, especially at the elementary level, send in healthy snacks to their child's classrooms for birthday celebrations and school happenings. Instead of the usual cookies and cupcakes, the District encourages parents to have fun with creating healthy snacks, transforming a half of a banana into a dolphin, a butterfly out of baggie of grapes and so much more to get kids excited about eating their fruits and veggies. Kids learn by example and should be provided with healthy, nutritious food even when they bring their own lunches from home.
For more information on what PSD is doing to help its students embrace healthier living, visit its wellness website and to learn about the CDC's Healthy Schools activities, click here.