Unique ‘Farm to School’ Initiatives Are Changing the Way Students Look at Lunch

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  • If you haven’t heard already, October is Farm to School Month. This initiative is making farmers, parents, teachers, and even students excited about fresh foods in schools. The program’s cornerstones are built around “Cafeteria, Classroom and Community”. Nutrition directors are embracing the initiative to make real changes in the lives of students across the country.
  • In Maine, one school district decided to forge a personal relationship between local farmers, students, and school officials. This September, students from Wells-Ogunquit Community School District picked thousands of pounds of produce which were then used to supply the district with food for months.
  •  Nutrition Services director Tyler Goodwin has noticed a change since they began to implement the initiative:

“What I have noticed in all schools is healthier choices being made; kids are automatically selecting the required fruit or vegetable with lunch, and less waste than last year”

  • In Missoula County Public Schools, Montana, Ed Christensen (Nutrition Supervisor for the county) prepared baked kale chips that were offered to all students within the district. Students overwhelmingly approved of the kale chips and increased their awareness that healthy food can be fun and delicious as well! The school district is now expanding their scope of healthy options to traditionally unhealthy choices, like using house-grown ingredients and scratch products to construct the schools’ pizzas.

BalancedHealthy POV

  • Initiatives like Farm to School Month are beginning to have a greater impact on the children in our schools. Documentaries like Supersize Me, in conjunction with greater access to information about the food we eat is making society re-examine what it wants to leave behind as a legacy for our kids. Cafeteria food has never had a positive stigma attached to it, but initiatives like Farm to School Month are aiming to turn school food into healthy, sustainable, and nutritious meals for thousands of students.
  • The introduction of these kinds of nutritional and sustainable school programs have the potential to shape the future of our planet. If children can learn about local produce and develop a preference for healthy choices from an early age, we could be seeing the growth of the next generation into one of the healthiest ever. These programs allow the BalancedHealthy lifestyle of sustainability and wellness to become a viable and attainable way of life for countless children in our schools and communities; perhaps creating the first of many health-conscious generations.