Minneapolis schools have made a move in the right direction — Bertrand Weber, the district’s nutrition director, plans to add healthier food options in public schools next year. Students will have the choice of more vegetables like broccoli, squash and spinach instead of the usual option of fries and unhealthy foods.
This initiative is long overdue. With obesity a significant problem in our nation, students’ lunches are the best place to start making change. Minneapolis is leading the way in making this change and providing fresher and healthier food choices, and hopefully other school districts will follow the initiative.
Another positive aspect of the plan is that the Minneapolis school district is looking for a location for an urban farm, where students would be able to learn more about what they are eating and where the food comes from.
The district held a test run of healthier menu options at Washburn High School recently, where students reacted happily. Students enjoy being able to have a healthy lunch with fresh food, rather than the usual greasy, processed and preserved lunches. The positive reaction from students shows that they want to have more and fresher options.
Fresh ingredients are a great start. Local sourcing of vegetables and fruits for lunches is what the district should work for next. This would support and promote urban farming, which helps the city’s economy, as well as offers healthy lunches and more learning opportunities for students. Getting students actively involved in what they eat is important for their future healthy lifestyles.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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