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Is your caf getting healthier?

Sure, we love to complain about whatever nosh we’re being handed in the cafeteria, but studies are showing that schools are stepping up in major ways to put some healthy choices on your trays. While there’s no denying mystery meat is still a major no-no, school districts are expanding the budgets for lunches, getting kids to weigh in on what they want to see, and even planning projects, like community gardens, to contribute to their menus! So what does this mean? Almost all schools are now serving healthy alternatives to the oily tater tots or sketchy hamburger patties you’re used to suffering through.

In a recent article on NPR, it’s been shown that 97% of schools now serve whole grains, 89% have salad bars or prepackaged greens to nibble on, and almost all schools have replaced full fat milk with healthy skim or 1 percent substitutes. Wow! By offering these outstanding options, the caf’s now letting you choose a healthy meal. Brown bagging it seems a lot less appealing now, huh?
Lots of kids don’t control what they eat at home, and many don’t have the money to buy organic and healthy foods. School is the only place where they could learn how to eat healthfully – so giving the caf a makeover is a major opportunity to spread information on how to eat balanced and nutritional meals.

And if your school’s still slinging sloppy Joes and deep-fried disasters?  Start a campaign to bring healthy lunches to everyone! Petitions, letters to your principal and superintendent, and cold hard facts about the effects of nasty nosh on childhood obesity can really call a community to action.

How’s the food in your cafeteria? Blog about it, babes.

BY SARAH GOLDBERG ON 8/22/2011 11:00:00 AM

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Skip the ice cream and make a chunky monkey shake. Blend 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk with 1 cup of ice for a protein-packed pick-me-up.
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