Healthy School Food Program
Hello & Happy Saturday!
I wanted to share with an organization I continue to serve on the Junior Council for years, the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food. If you’re looking to get involved and mitigate the development of chronic disease in the next generation, this organization is for you.
WHO THEY ARE
Most of us equate public school lunches with mystery meat and greasy eats, but NYCHSF is here to change all that. NYCHSF is a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of NY students by advocating for healthy plant-based foods, including local and organic where possible.
Today, the school lunchroom doesn’t have to be ubiquitous for all things unhealthy.
Want to read more about their ongoing mission?
Family dinner night is an event they host at schools to spread the message of consuming a plant based diet and limiting processed foods. We discuss everything from sugar content to comparing plant versus meat protein!! This past Family Dinner Night I had the opportunity to develop a table on global warming and discuss both the causes and effects today. Through using an apple, we were able to visually show both parents and students realistically the amount of quality soil that is available to grow crops on today.
We were also able to visually show the amount of land needed for cows to graze versus the required amount of land to produce an abundance of fruits and veggies!! The parents and especially the students were very receptive to the idea that a plant based diet is good for both us and the environment.
Through providing this information our goal is to foster and promote plant based food choices in both the cafeteria and at home
- Labels Lie
- Non Dairy Sampling
- Sugar Content
- Salt Content
- Meat vs. Animal protein
(I’m working on developing more, to be cont’d)
Over the past few weeks I’ve worked with the Coalition for Healthy School Food to visit PS146 up in East Harlem to assist with their Meatless Monday lunch day!! We documented what the students chose for lunch with the additional option of a PBJ sandwich. Did they choose the healthy option?! Why did they choose it?! Was there something about the veg option they didn’t particularly like?
Through answering these questions we’re better able to assist in improving our program, making it better, and at the end of the day making the students happy and more importantly..
The idea of Meatless Monday is to give students a break from meat products and give them the opportunity to choose healthier options that are outside the typical PBJ and cheese sandwich.
One week we served burritos with brown rice and a whole wheat pita, which was topped with the above (chickpeas, black beans, and tomato’s) as well a some cheddar cheese!! The burrito was huge, filling, and offered whole grains, and a lot more nutrients than the typical, sad, antiquated, pb&j. My favorite Meatless Monday was the falafel day!! These falafels were fresh, warm, flavorful, and served with a whole wheat pita and a homemade spicy sauce to go on top!! Students also had the option of topping off their veg sammies with tons of fresh veggies from the salad bar.
For those of you wondering if ice cream, chips, and processed goods are offered at this particular school. The answer is actually.. no. There are not processed foods, but there is always fresh fruit in addition to the salad bar!! At PS146 they offer no sodas, but juice, milk, and water, which a lot of the students actually opted for.
Here are a few of the painting from the event. many were sold to enable us to continue our ongoing mission to get more plant based foods in public schools.