Kids Will Eat Their Veggies: Celebrating Salad Bars in Schools

Whole Kids Foundation® is celebrating 4,000 Salad Bars serving 2,000,000 kids 375,000 lbs of veggies and fruit every day. Learn why this matters and how you can participate.

Whole Kids Foundation opens in a new tab® is celebrating 4,000 Salad Bars serving 2,000,000 kids 375,000 lbs of veggies and fruit every day.

Eat your veggies!

We’ve all heard it.

And most of us, who are parents, have said it more than a few times.

Why? Because our parents were right…veggies are good for you

Today, we know so much more about the benefits that come from eating a rainbow of fresh veggies and fruits. Each color is created by a different set of micronutrients — all of which are needed to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy.

Did you know that when kids eat even less than one serving of green or orange veggies it still has numerous positive health impacts? That finding is from this University of Texas study on vegetables and children’s health opens in a new tab.

So, with more than 32,000,000 kids eating lunch at school 175 days a year — it’s a logical place for kids to eat their veggies. And they are doing just that, thanks to the generous support of Whole Foods Market shoppers and team members, who over the past five years, with additional support from Whole Kids Foundation have contributed more than $8 million making it possible for Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools to grant 4,000 salad bars to schools across the country!

Either you’re thinking — “that’s nice, but kids don’t like vegetables” or “that’s not fair, I wish I’d had a salad bar at school!”

In all the work Whole Kids Foundation opens in a new tab does, our toughest challenge is convincing adults that kids really will eat vegetables — and enjoy them! What happens when you add a salad bar to a school cafeteria is that you give kids choice — the most powerful ingredient!

Recently we celebrated the power of salad bars at Calvin Rodwell Elementary School a Baltimore City Public School. Check out the amazing choices their students are making at lunch opens in a new tab

Back in 2010, Whole Foods Market decided to invest in school lunch reform, because we wanted to help parents understand how important it is that every student have a nutritious school lunch. Even if you pack a power-sack lunch for your child, their education is affected by all of the students in their class. And when a child is hungry or undernourished, it’s simply harder for them to learn.

Thousands of schools are stepping up to meet the new nutrition guidelines that are part of the National School Lunch Program. And adding a salad bar is one of these best ways to do that.

If you have an interest in getting involved in school lunch in your community, our Parent Advocacy Toolkit opens in a new tab is a great place to start. 

Or make one dinner each week “salad bar” night. Set out all the ingredients and encourage family members to make the most colorful salad imaginable!

Tell us which veggies your kids love to eat! Share in the comments below.

Nona Evans is the Executive Director of Whole Kids Foundation. Her favorite vegetables at the moment are Brussels sprouts. 

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