How You Can Help
Experience and research both confirm that parents are the most effective role models that children have. Farm to school isn’t just about supporting local family farmers, but it’s also about growing healthy, strong children. Children who learn early on to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are on a better path to life-long healthy eating habits.
Whether your child’s school has a farm to school program or not, there are many things that you can do to support farm to table and healthy eating.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Take a look at what’s on the school menu. Help your child pick out healthy food options, and be sure to suggest a healthy treat, too.
- Ask the food service director for a copy of the school’s wellness policy. Read what’s in it and bring it up at the next Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting.
- Check your child’s lunch box. Whether you pack it or your child does, check to make sure the lunch has a mix of healthy options. Does it have a fruit and/or vegetable? A grain? The new federal MyPlate icon was designed to help children and adults think about what’s on their plates and make good choices. The MyPlate website includes additional information on nutrition.
- Think 5-2-1-0. If your child’s school can’t offer locally grown at this time, remember 5-2-1-0. That’s 5 fruits and/or vegetables a day, 2 hours or less screen time per day, 1 hour of physical activity a day and no sugary-sweetened beverages a day. These guidelines help keep your child, and yourself, healthy and strong.
- Ask the school food service director how you can help out in the lunchroom or locate other fresh produce options for the school.