If you have kids in school, there is a good chance you have concerns about what they eat in the school cafeteria. There is little monitoring of the food selection process in the typical school cafeteria and no one is going to stop children from making bad food selections. Parents have to offer advice to their children and then hope they make the best decisions. Parents also have to hope that good, wholesome food options exists and as anyone can attest who has visited a school cafeteria, some of them offer few, if any, healthy lunch options.
What Can We Do?:
There are several ways parents can get active and place pressure on schools to improve food and one effective way is to get involved in an organization already working actively to improve student health through better eating. One of the good organizations working to make school lunches better is the Farm to School Network, an organization that works to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods directly from nearby farms to your child’s cafeteria.
What is This Organization All About?:
Farm to School Network is a program that connects schools from elementary through high school with local farms committed to serving children the best, healthiest, and freshest food possible. Farm to School strives to improve student nutrition, food education, and the local economy by providing a consistent market for local produce. Farm to School works to achieve its objectives by providing training, technical assistance, information services, marketing support, networking, and other activities to farmers and schools.
Are There Active Affiliates Where I Live?:
The Farm to School Network has a national staff, eight regional lead agencies, and leads in all fifty states. The best way to contact your local affiliates is to logon to the Farm to School Network web site and click your state on the large map, located on the home page. Every state has active Farm to School affiliates, so no one is left out. Some of the organizations may already be active in your local community and school district. If they are not, the section for each state will show you how to get involved and bring fresh, healthy food to your school.
Healthy eating is important to every parent and most nutrition experts agree that a small investment today in teaching positive eating habits to children will pay great dividends in the future. The Farm to School Network helps support local farmers while improving the quality of school food and general education on nutrition. It is an excellent organization and one that all concerned parents should get to know. We obviously can’t be at school to monitor our child’s eating habits every day of the week, but with the Farm to School Network working with your local school, you can feel a little better knowing that the food is fresher and healthier than before.
Copyright 2012, Bryan Carey