Officials in a Massachusetts school district say they are spending more on fresh fruits and vegetables when fewer students are purchasing school meals. After high-school students said the cafeteria lines were too long, officials added another lunch period to boost meal participation.
School nutrition professionals in the Cleveland, Tenn., area are working together to make dietary changes to reduce the sodium content in student meals. Cleveland City Schools nutrition supervisor Susan Mobley said the sodium reductions required are a significant change and, while schools already are using lower-sodium foods, one of the best ways to reduce salt is to replace canned fruits and vegetables with fresh produce.
Hamilton County, Tenn., schools are taking a new approach to recouping more than $100,000 in unpaid meal charges. District officials have notified parents via automated phone messages that if meal debt is not paid by a specific deadline, the district will turn over unpaid tabs to a collection agency.
A push is under way in Minnesota to increase the number of students eating breakfast at school, with supporters saying such efforts would help students learn and improve the local economy. "It could be a grab-and-go model for high schools or middle schools where, as they come in off the buses, they're grabbing a breakfast and then they're eating it at their lockers," said Jason Langworthy, outreach coordinator at Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, "or having breakfast delivered to first-period classes so that students are eating and continuing that curriculum time."
Instead of buying processed or fast-food snacks, such as sweet potato fries, dips or chicken nuggets, registered dietitian Keri Glassman suggests making them at home. Homemade versions are less expensive, and they can be healthier by baking instead of frying and using more wholesome ingredients, Glassman writes.