With so many children getting about half of their daily calories from school meals, it’s critical that school cafeterias provider healthier options. The latest research suggests one way to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables
If everyone had a personal chef, we’d all eat better. And if every school had a chef overseeing its recipes and menus, then kids would eat better too, right?
That’s the idea behind the latest study published inJAMA Pediatrics. With 32 million children in the U.S. eating school lunches—some of those at schools where pizza is considered a vegetable—there’s a movement to bring healthy food to the school cafeteria. But could a chef really make a difference?
The answer, as Juliana Cohen from the Harvard School of Public Health and her colleagues found out, is a resounding yes. The First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools program and the Smarter Lunchroomsmovement have pushed two new ways of bringing healthier fare to students: by hiring chefs to work in school cafeterias, and by something they called a “smart café” system: strategically placing healthy foods like fruits and vegetables more prominently in lunch lines.