Millions of student across the country are going back to school this week. Most will buy lunch there. Most of the others will bring theirs. For the (parents of) those students, Seventh Generation has offered up some tips on how to make the packaging of the lunch more re-useable (and therefore more sustainable).
A key part of lunch, of course is the food. Fortunately, Congress passed a law several years ago mandating healthier foods as part of the School Lunch program. It was not a total success (tomato sauce can be considered a vegetable), but far more healthier food is being supported now than ever before. The general idea is to lessen the amount of processed foods and increase the amounts of fresh foods.
With all the focus on lunch, it is perhaps easy to forget the students are perfectly capable of eating snacks at all times of the day. A growing number of youth-service organizations (including schools) are focusing on this as well. There are enough of these groups providing healthier snacks that there are even some independent studies of the trend:
This is only about the foods offered to students at lunch and snack times. It has nothing to do with the explosion of school gardens and other programming to teach kids about healthy food. Over the past few years, many schools have planted gardens and added garden topics to their cirricula. There are certainly a lot more healthier food options (and discussion) in schools today than when I was a kid.