Have you ever looked at the school lunch food choices presented to your kids — I mean really looked? Are you happy with the options they have available to them or do you think your school could use some improvement?
Personally, I think schools (at least the one my kids go to) could do better. Healthier options could be introduced and the heavily processed, pre-packaged foods could be done away with. When I was in school the ladies working in the lunch room actually cooked all of our food — from scratch. When did saving a quick buck triumph the health of our kids? I’m not saying that every meal was the epitome of health when I was in school either, however, we certainly didn’t have a highly processed breaded chicken of some type nearly 5-6 times a month.
Now when I look at the menu at my kids’ school all I see are processed foods with maybe a small serving of a veggie on the side. They do offer a local harvest crop of the month, I’ll give them that, but when your harvest of the month is potatoes and you serve up deep fried tater tots — is that really a healthy option?
Looking for a change
I’m really excited about a program called #produceforkids. Not only is this a wonderful campaign to help educate families about healthier eating habits, but it is also a movement to bring healthier eating options right into schools!
For the second year, Copps Food Center, Metro Market, and Pick ’n Save are partnering with Produce for Kids® for a healthy eating-focused campaign to raise funds for the United Fresh Start Foundation’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign. Taking place May 31 – July 12, Produce for Kids® will offer shoppers in-store and online meal solutions, recipes and tips for families looking to embrace healthier eating habits.
About Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools
Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is a special campaign of the United Fresh Start Foundation, under the umbrella of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. The goal of Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption by donating salad bars to schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
About Produce for Kids®
Produce for Kids® is a philanthropically based organization that brings the produce industry together to educate consumers about healthy eating with fresh produce and raises funds for local children’s non-profit organizations. Since its creation in 2002 by Shuman Produce Inc., Produce for Kids has raised more than $5 million to benefit kids. To learn more about Produce for Kids and healthy eating, visit www.produceforkids.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
How can YOU help to provide better school lunches?
To help Copps Food Center, Metro Market, and Pick ’n Save support salad bars for schools, shoppers are encouraged to add more produce to their grocery carts.
Seven participating fruit and vegetable suppliers, Avocados from Mexico – Mexican Hass Avocados; Chiquita Fresh – Fresh Express® Packaged Salads; NatureSweet® Glorys® Tomatoes; Naturipe® – Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries & Raspberries; organicgirl – good clean greens; POM Wonderful® – Pomegranate Juice & Teas; Shuman Produce – RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions, will make a consumption-based donation to support Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools, which has a goal to increase children’s produce consumption by donating salad bars to schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
So in short, all you have to do is buy produce for your own home (the brands listed above) and donations will be made directly to your local community to get that produce right into your schools!
New to using fresh produce?
Mark your calendar!
In-store cooking demonstrations will take place in select Copps Food Center, Metro Market and Pick ’n Save stores on Saturday, June 27 featuring dietitian-approved recipes and tips and tricks to make healthier choices on a daily basis.
If you need recipes to get you started in the meantime, take a peek at the following fun and healthy recipes that look absolutely delicious!
This post has been brought to you by Produce For Kids, all opinions are my own. Thanks to the wonderful sponsors for working toward a healthier lifestyle in our schools!