The Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals for children during the summer months, will have an increased presence in Missouri this year. Because participation in the program is low across the country, the administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service through the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking solutions to increase participation in Missouri.
We all know the way to a healthy body is a balanced diet and exercise. But we also know that’s easier said than done. However, with almost one-third of Missouri children ages 10 to 17 overweight or obese, it’s becoming more and more important to instill healthy habits young.
This week on Intersection, two dietitians and an exercise expert shared doable tips for parents to keep kids on the right track.
Lunch is served in a small gymnasium that doubles as the cafeteria at Elmwood-Murdock High School, a small, rural school in eastern Nebraska. After the period bell rings, a line quickly forms at the service window where trays are loaded with fish patties on whole wheat buns and small piles of curly fries.
With the emphasis on small.
Because at Elmwood-Murdock, like at other schools across the country, students this year have been put on a new diet.
Like the old joke about restaurant complaints (“The food is awful, and the portions are so small!”), kids across the country are complaining their school lunches have too many fruits and vegetables, and they’re leaving lunch hungry.
Remember those 20 days in 1981 when the Department of Agriculture considered making ketchup a vegetable in school lunches to help save money? Those days are long gone. With childhood obesity on the rise, the school lunch program is getting a makeover once again.