August is here and that means school is just around the corner. Schools are a key setting for healthy nutrition and physical activity strategies. Many schools have already made changes to their school nutrition environments, improved the quality of the foods served, and now provide students with more nutritious, healthy choices.
Do you really know if your children are eating healthy school meals? The only real way to be sure is to get involved. Show you care. Show the school that what your children eat matters a lot. Here's a checklist of what you can do to get results:
Do Lunch With the Children: Eat breakfast or lunch at school with your children. See what the meals are like. Notice the atmosphere. If you don't like what you see, do something.
Discuss Your Principles: Go to the principal. Discuss the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. Suggest programs. Ask for cooperation. Follow through.
Team Up With Food Service Staff: Visit the school cafeteria. Get to know the staff. Let them know you value their services and appreciate good daily nutrition for your child. Make sure children appreciate how healthy breakfasts and lunches serve their minds as well as their bodies.
Talk Out of School: Make your opinions heard. Talk to other parents. Work with your PTA and school board to support healthy school meals.
Listen: If you listen to what your children are learning at school about good nutrition, you can help them put their knowledge to work at home, too.
Submitted: Sharon A. Haynes, Regional Extension Agent, Human Nutrition, Diet & Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 256-362-6187
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