As LA Unified School District works hard to revamp its school lunch menu with healthier fare, it must face a hard-to-swallow fact: Just because the new dishes the district is serving up are innovative, culturally diverse, and more “gourmet” than ever before, does not mean kids will necessarily like them at first.
With 700,000 students, LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation and is leading the way when it comes to improving the nutritional value of school meals. In fact, according to an article published yesterday in The Daily Breeze, LAUSD is spending $20 million on fruits and vegetables this year, up from just $2 million in 2006.
But it’s unclear whether all those extra fruits and vegetables will be accepted by students, or if they’ll end up in the trash. In The Daily Breeze article, LAUSD Chef Mark Baida conceded, “Not everyone is going to be happy… It’s going to take at least 10 years for kids to get used to it.”
|ShapeUp students building peanut butter banana wraps|
Here at SOSMentor, we believe that nutrition education should be a key component in the transition to healthier school meals. Children who are educated about good nutrition and motivated to desire healthy food will be much more open to trying and accepting new items on the lunch menu.
We’ve seen firsthand in our programs that when students begin to understand the connection between the food they eat and their health, their eating habits often change. We strive to reach more students with our programs, so that we can support LAUSD’s efforts to improve student health and continue to make progress in the classroom and in the cafeteria year after year.