By Joanne Camas, Epicurious.com
Many schools now offer whole grains, locally grown food, and fresh fruit and vegetables among their lunch options, says a report released today by the School Nutrition Association.
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"School cafeterias nationwide have made dramatic progress in improving the quality of the meals served to nearly 32 million children every school day," says the report.
Among the highlights:
Nearly every school district offers fresh fruits and vegetables (98%)
Whole-grain foods have become readily accessible (97%)
A total of 89 percent of school districts offer salad bars or prepackaged salads
About two-thirds provide vegetarian meals (63%), and
Virtually all districts offer fat-free or 1% milk (98%)
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Food educational programs are also taking off, says the SNA. "From spinach to strawberries and pears to pumpkin, school nutrition professionals are constantly working to offer students more fruits and vegetables, and often they are partnering with teachers, farmers, and chefs to teach kids about the importance of healthy choices at school and at home," said Helen Phillips, SNS, president of the School Nutrition Association.
Have there been improvements in lunches offered in your local schools? What changes do you see?
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Photo: CN Digital Studio