School Lunches Need Some Real Meal Appeal

February 24, 2011

School lunches have a challenge ahead! Did you see the headline in the Chicago Tribune?

You can lead kids to broccoli, but you can’t make them eat

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-new-school-lunches-20110220,0,6830768.story

Here’s the bottom line: Healthy foods don’t make healthier kids unless the kids eat them and kids won’t eat them unless they taste good.

Just like in changing whole-district wellness policies, you’ve got to create buy-in, even with kids. Give them some control in these inevitable changes to their lunch-time favorites. Kids love to give their opinions, right?

  • Let them taste-test new menu items before putting them on the menu.
  • Give them a voice by voting for their favorite fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Have them create posters and collages in the classroom to support an upcoming change to the menu.
  • Hold a contest to name the new menu items.
  • Build cooking skills by allowing them to help when trying new recipes.

By getting kids involved in the process, they begin to feel ownership for the changes ahead. The foods become more appealing just because they helped choose or taste them in the first place.

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