Take Action for Healthy School Lunches

The school Nutrition Association advises: “Getting involved in school meals programs is easy. Start with these easy steps:
1. Review cafeteria menus with your child and be encouraging about trying new menu items.
2. Try new foods – especially fruits and vegetables – at home and your child may be more willing to try these foods at school.
3. Visit the school cafeteria to make your own observations and have lunch.
4. Introduce yourself to the school nutrition staff at your child’s school. They can answer questions or concerns about everything from product offerings to meal preparation methods to waiting time in line.”

Here is a press release from just today!

National Harbor, MD (October 6, 2010) – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) is hosting “School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” an interactive campaign that aims to inspire every type of student to get excited about healthy school lunch choices. The campaign, featured in school cafeterias nationwide, will culminate during National School Lunch Week, October 11-15, 2010.

Students who visit www.WhatsOnYourTray.org can take a personality quiz to reveal which of the site’s cool cartoon characters fit their personality the best. Whether they score as a social star, busy bee, sports fanatic or just totally chilled-out, students can learn what foods are best to fuel them up, keep them healthy and get the most out of their action-packed school days. Each character comes paired with healthy eating tips, emphasizing the components of well balanced school meals.

“School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” was created with support from the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) for SNA members to use in their school cafeterias. SNA’s 53,000 members are school nutrition professionals from across the country who are working in schools and communities to provide balanced, nutritious school meals, information on proper portion sizes and nutrition education for children.

Each year, to raise awareness of the importance of the National School Lunch Program, SNA helps schools celebrate National School Lunch Week with an official theme, suggested menus and recipes, promotional resources and more.

Serving more than 31 million children every school day, the federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced low-cost and free meals to students. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards.

Meals are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, meaning they contain no more than 30% of calories from fat, and less than 10% from saturated fat.
School lunches include fruits and vegetables, grains and proteins as well as milk, and they must provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories.
Meals are served in age-appropriate serving sizes meaning you get the amount of food that your body needs!
The School Nutrition Association has found that schools nationwide are serving more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and are making tremendous strides in reducing added sodium and sugar in foods served in the lunch line. For more information about healthy school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA), www.schoolnutrition.org, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.