Liz Schnabolk is the staff editor for KIWI magazine. She writes about food, nutrition, and parenting.
Ask your child how school went and you can pretty much count on this response: “Good.”
So, it’s rather unlikely that you know a lot about what goes on during their lunch period. Luckily, many schools around the country have revamped their cafeteria programs in recent years — and gone are the days when tater tots and soda passed as a midday meal. But how can you find out how your school stacks up? You have to see it for yourself.
Enter National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, sponsored by KIWI magazine and the School Nutrition Association. The event, which takes place on October 15th, gives parents an inside look at their child’s cafeteria. This is important because it helps open up the line of communication between school administrators and parents about what goes into serving healthy meals in the cafeteria. Plus, it gives parents a much-needed opportunity to talk to their kids about how eating well can help them stay healthy and strong!
At last year’s event, parents and kids all across the country broke bread together in celebration of healthier school lunches. (Check out these fun cafeteria photos from participants.)
More than 400 schools also entered our contest to win $1,000 lunch program-improvement grants from the Whole Kids Foundation®. It was a tough competition but, in the end, three very special schools stood out. Winning program The Museum School of Decatur, Georgia, has a thriving school nutrition curriculum and will use the grant to build a community garden. Another winner, Edison Middle School in Wheaton Illinois, banished all sugary sodas from their school! And last, but not least, La Costa Heights Elementary School in Carlsbad, California, has a salad bar that rivals any farm-to-table restaurant.
Whether your school has long been focusing on health and wellness or is just starting to think about offering more nutritious fare, National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day is a fun and important event that every district can benefit from!
Plus, don’t forget to enter your school in the Whole Kids Foundation grant contest. We can’t wait to read all your stories and, of course, see you when the lunch bell rings!
Do you ever eat lunch at school with your kids? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.