National School Lunch and Breakfast Week

LeslieAdrienne By LeslieAdrienne, 27th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/7scfxj_d/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

Healthy Bodies promote Healthy Minds. We are the sum of many parts. Each part has to be taken care of in order for the "whole" to function optimally.

What did you your kid have for breakfast???

There was a time, not so many years ago, that the only source for a school child's breakfast and lunch was their home. There was no such thing as free or reduced breakfast or free or reduced lunch.

Most families ate breakfast at home. Mother, Father or an older child would rise a little earlier than the others and prepare breakfast for the entire family. The same was true of lunch. Mother would prepare a lunch pail or sack lunch each night for the children to take to school the next school day. In some cases, students who lived in the vicinity of the school would go home for lunch.

Truly an idyllic picture of the USA "good old days". Except, this picture didn't exist in a vast number of homes.

Hungry Parents Equals Hungry Children

Economic issues or lack of access, or some other factors caused many families to find themselves without enough food. Many parents did not have enough food to feed themselves or their children well.

Far too many families were eating dinner for breakfast, nothing for lunch and whatever was available for dinner. Some children were going to school on empty stomachs, having no morning meal (breakfast), no mid-day meal (lunch) and very little for their evening (dinner) meal.

The problem of hungry school children, especially in the urban areas, began to be recognized as a major problem. Research showed what teachers everywhere already knew; the effect of hunger on school children results in their lack of attention and their lack of retention.

The problem transverses culture, color, race and religion. This revelation became the catalyst for the War on Poverty. The nation was not only preparing to feed its children, but to feed them nutritionally.

From the research there were two revelations that emerged: a well fed child is an academically "ready" child and, it matters not only that you feed growing children, but that you feed them nutritionally.

Free and reduced school breakfast and lunch programs were born. Over the years these programs have been modified again and again to ensure that they meet the national guidelines as new nutrition information has come on the scene.

School Lunch Program

The establishment of National School Lunch Week has the purpose of bringing awareness to children of the importance of good nutrition. Teaching children to make healthy food choices by the example of feeding them nutritious meals was now becoming a reality.

Various activities are developed by each school's Nutritionist which are designed to help the children make the connection between agriculture, meals and health. In this technologically sound universe, many children do not realize that food comes from somewhere beyond the refrigerator or from the grocery store.

The United States government has provided nutrition curriculums which can be implemented throughout the school year. Each curriculum places regional emphasis on local agriculture and farming efforts.

Isn't Food just Food? It Really Matters What You Eat

It Really Matters What You Eat. Healthy breakfast and lunch choices are as important as being assured that there will be food available to eat. Wrong choices can result in obesity, high blood pressure and countless other childhood health issues.

For years, school provided meals were not necessarily nutritionally sound. Many times the menu choices were stocked with foods most children would eat regardless of their lack of nutrition. After all, isn't the whole point of breakfast and lunch is to ensure that the child is eating, right??? Wrong!

A diet of pizza, hot dogs, chips and candy will fill a child's stomach thereby satisfying hunger, but does that translate into good nutrition? No, as the old saying goes, garbage in equals garbage out.

Nutritious food feeds the intricate parts of our bodies causing it to run in its most efficient manner. It really matters what you eat.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity rates are on the rise in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The emphasis in these nations on healthy eating is being pushed to parents and to children on every grade level.

Childhood obesity as a national problem has come t the attention of Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States. Her concerted efforts to get children up and moving as well as educating them on how to make healthy eating choices.

If taught to make healthy eating choices while young, the probability is that as they grow they will continue to make healthy eating choices. Good choices lead to healthy living and lower medical problems.

It is a sad sight to see young children who are so obese that they are unable to play. The natural inclination of children is to actively play, to run, to expend energy; and, when they cannot, when they can only move a few minutes before getting tired it is time to do something to change things.

And So.....

The future of every generation begins with the "raising" of children. How they are taught, what they are fed, and how they are treated are all a part of this "raising". Arguably, nutrition is a fundamental and foundational element in the successful "raising" of our children.

You may be an asset to your local schools by volunteering a few hours during the observance of National Breakfast and Lunch Awareness Week. Check with your local school for the dates of the current years observance.
Reference : http://www.fns.usda.gov/

Tags

Breakfast, Lunch, Nutrition, Nutrition Basics, Nutritious Eating, Nutritious Food, School, School Breakfast Program, School Issues, School Life, School Lunch Program, Schools

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author avatar LeslieAdrienne
I love to write. I love the way words can be used to paint vivid pictures in the minds eye. I love the way that the words just flow out of me, bubbling up and overflowing .....

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