We doubt anyone would quibble that healthy meals build healthy minds, which is the belief of Progressive Catering & School Gardens. Progressive Catering & School Gardens is a hot lunch program that offers homemade lunches with only fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Check-out their Facebook page where the photos look good enough to eat! Their catering service is based on “homemade” rather than processed food. Their mission is to provide school kids with quality homemade food which in term enhances the possibility they’ll make lifelong healthy food choices. If you don’t believe that one person can make a difference, you’ll change your mind after you take a look at Progressive Catering’s YouTube video. Here is more information about how it all happened.
Another example of how one person can transform school lunch menus at the grassroots and then go on to stimulate big policy changes from the top-down is agtivist, Andrea Northup, who launched the D.C. Farm to School Network, a nonprofit dedicated to providing healthier school food in public and charter schools in our nation’s capital. She had a principal role in the passage and implementation of the landmark Healthy Schools Act of 2010, which provides financial incentives to schools that serve local food and offer nutrition education in the classroom. She also was honored with a Natural Resources Defense Council Growing Green Award in the Young Food Leader category. Another helpful non-profit organization is the National Farm to School Network which connects schools (K-12) and local farms, even urban farms, to promote serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.
It’s clear that obesity is at epidemic levels not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. There is not one single solution. While, exercise is the key to burning off excess calories, it is also important to understand about daily food choices. We recently wrote about the annual May 19th Food Revolution Day and provided resources that promote awareness and the need for these lifestyle changes. We applaud Jamie Oliver for using his celebrity to tackle this huge issue.
Obesity isn’t just a kids issue in school lunches. Schools are targeting different aspects of students’ environments like vending machines. States are getting more involved too. Even big corporations that market food to kids, like Disney, are getting the message. The company previously launched the Disney Magic of Healthy Living initiative with the promise to help the nation make kids healthier. It looks like Mickey and Minnie Mouse are adopting a healthier lifestyle too.
For concerned parents, it’s clear that obesity is a complex problem with many answers, and all of these efforts are on the right track. Parents should keep in mind, as role models for their kids, it’s important to promote nutrition in the home and exhibit other healthy behaviors. This is the game changer in the health of their kids. Healthy kids are our future and it’s our responsibility to surround them with the best environment so they can go on to live fulfilling and healthy lives.