A bold move by New York City, home to largest school system in the United States, intends to provide students in New York schools with healthy food designed to taste good. The resolution, passed on June 24, 2003, means that unappetizing canned fruits and vegetables are on their way out, to be replaced by fresh produce five days a week. Out will go sodas and high fructose juice drinks – only water, milk, and 100 percent juice will be allowed. Candy and sugary snacks will disappear from school vending machines. Meal menus will be redesigned to lower fat and increase whole grains. Meat dishes will decrease; fish and soy products (veggie-burgers and nuggets) will increase. Portion sizes of desserts and snacks will decrease.
Changes in the New York school system will begin to appear right away, in September 2003, and are to be completed by 2008. The New York school system serves more meals every day than any government entity in the U.S. other than the Department of Defense.
The effects of these major changes could have an even larger impact as more and more school systems across the country are in the process of re-evaluating the food they serve to children.
This is a great time to take action about your own child’s school. I’m working with Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt to create the Menu for Change, an action plan for your community. In the meantime, our Organic Lunchbox Challenge is a great way to give your child delicious healthy food while waiting for the changes in your child’s school.