Smarter Lunchrooms Movement aims to improve what students eat and reduce waste

Jan 15, 2017 by

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Shelly Whyte knew it could be a long shot to get finicky middle schoolers to eat Brussels sprouts. But when the little cabbages disappeared out of serving pans onto students’ trays, she wasn’t totally surprised.

Whyte, the cafeteria manager at Maplewood Middle School, has learned from experience that if you want students to eat healthy foods, choices matter — even if they are not immediately obvious ones.

“If there are only one or two choices out, they may not like it,” Whyte explains. “The more I can put out the better.”

The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale school is one of a growing number in the Twin Cities to embrace the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, an initiative aimed at getting students to eat more of the healthy foods schools are required to serve.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, passed by Congress in 2010, required schools to serve more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat foods and reduce salt. Unfortunately, a lot of students’ palettes were more accustomed to the fast food fare that was a lunchroom staple for years, and a lot of the healthy food went from the kitchen to the students’ tray to the trash can.

Source: Smarter Lunchrooms Movement aims to improve what students eat and reduce waste – Twin Cities

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