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Diana Limongi's picture

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When I started doing research on schools in my area, I was a bit troubled about the kind of snacks and food I saw on the lunch menu. (These included hot dogs, bagels and ice cream.) In schools where parents could send in their own snacks, I was concerned because there seemed to be no guidelines. In addition, there weren’t any guidelines for celebrations. In the beginning, I didn’t want to be seen as “that annoying mom” who didn’t want to give her kid (too many) cupcakes. But, I am that mom, and I’m ok with that. Enzo at daycare | MomsRising.orgI’m the mom who brought in fruit for celebrations. The teacher saw the fruit and said “What a great idea!”

As parents, sometimes we're intimidated. We don't want to interfere with school policies. Or, don't think that we can change things. But, the thing is-- WE CAN!  We should never be intimidated or afraid to voice our concerns and opinions. They are our kids!

Interested in bringing change to your school? 

If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask! Our tax dollars pay for schools, and we have a right to know what our children are eating!

Here are some practical tips to help you:

  • Talk to other parents. Maybe other parents want to initiate change but don't know how to do so!  Administrators and schools might be more open to discussion if many parents are voicing the same concerns.
  • Work with teachers to establish rules about celebration treats (about type of food and frequency of celebrations)
  • Volunteer to conduct an activity that is related to healthy eating: make a healthy recipe in your child's classroom, or read a book related to eating healthy.
  • Arm yourself with information… some say that eating healthy can cost schools more money, but with planning there are cost effective ways to eat healthy. The most important thing is that administrators and parents are on board to make change happen! I recommend the Rudd Center for Obesity.
  • Ask your school and elected officials to not cut physical education programs. Investing in physical education now will save health care costs later!
  • Hold Fundraisers to raise money for physical education and food education programs
  • Look for partnerships with organizations that want to help make a difference.

 

Here are some other fun ideas to get kids interested in healthy food:

  • Teach them where real food comes from!
  • Grow a rooftop or backyard garden.
  • Learn to compost.
  • Take a trip to a farmers’ market
  • Take a trip to a farm.

Make it fun and children will gravitate towards a healthy lifestyle.

Of course, it is very important to have healthy eating habits at home. But given that our kids spend a great deal of time in school, schools should be working with parents -- lowering obesity rates can only happen if parents and schools work together.

This post is part of the National School Lunch Week with Healthy Food! A MomsRising Blog Carnival. Take a moment to read and comment on these thoughtful blogs, then tell us your story. Our stories are powerful and are what led administrators to set these rules in place.


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