Three is good news on the front of healthy nutrition that have seen that cafeteria food is improving, but kids don’t like it, so there is a possible bad side to otherwise joyous statistics. The means are there though, and schools have greatly heeded the warnings to provide more nutritional meals for children nationwide.
After gathering data from over 14 years worth of information from the School Health Policies and Practices Study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has observed that there has been a vast improvement on the food offered in school cafeterias. The problem has been highly discussed and efforts have taken to fruition.
The numbers of fruits and vegetables offered are much higher, along with whole grains that would provide children a healthier breakfast or lunch. The salty foods are slowly becoming more unpopular on the menus, so the sodium levels are seeing a decline as well. The study has been one of the firsts to denote true and substantial progress.
Since 2000 to 2014, schools all over the country have implemented at least five of the nine recommended nutrition services successfully and saw to better, healthier meals more often provided for the country’s youth. In fact, over two thirds of schools have trimmed down on sodium levels to a reasonable degree.
Over half of the schools also provide fresh or frozen vegetables as opposed to their canned counterparts, or have switched to canned vegetables with a lower-sodium content. A majority of 54.1% have switched from canned to frozen or fresh, and 65.1% have shunned salt in favor of other similar ingredients.
A whopping and hopeful 97.2% offer grained-based foods each day for breakfast, and 94.4% for lunch, and a third of them, 30.5%, now even offer open salad bars. It’s an excellent improvement on offering healthier and more nutritious options to children, and perhaps form better habits to carry on in their adult life that will shield them from dangerous conditions or diseases.
Furthermore, 79.4% now offer two or more vegetables per day, in comparison to the 61.7% that was available in 2000. The same goes for fruit, going from 68.1% to 78% in fourteen years, in order to encourage shifting from the sugar-filled and chocolate-based desserts to the more healthier options.
However, the fight is not offer, and schools all over the countries are encouraged to participate in campaigns such as “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools”, or other health-promoting partnerships that might bring even more nutritional meals to children.
The CDC has shown that schools are doing their part, but parents have to encourage the beneficial habits themselves, as it has been previously reported that most of children discard their fruits and vegetables instead of eating them.
Both environments, school and home, have to make sure tomorrow’s generation will grow up with healthy and nutritional eating habits that will carry on from their childhood to their adult life.
Image source: takepart.com