Those in foodservice management know that over the last 50 years, K-12 dining services haven’t changed all that much. Many kids and teens go through the same motions and even eat the same foods today at school that as parents, we had for lunch at their age.
While the NSLP (National School Lunch Program) has served K-12 children for more than 70 years now, many kids also eat breakfast at school today, a service that wasn’t offered when older adults were children. Not only that, some schools offer after-school snacks. The problem is, how healthy are these foods, and why is ours the only country in the world in which many children starve and go hungry, while others have obesity issues?
As bad as the news all seems, and while K-12 foodservices are becoming more and more in demand, there may be a silver lining inside what seems to be a dark cloud when it comes to children’s and teens’ health and nutrition. Seven years ago the nutritional standards for the National School Lunch Program were raised by the USDA, and the challenge continues as schools make an effort to serve healthier choices for lunch and breakfast. Still, will kids eat foods that are healthier? When they decide that what’s on the tray doesn’t look so appetizing and decide to eat snacks from a vending machine or bring unhealthy foods from home, it isn’t a win for anyone.
Having schools incorporate healthier options into the lunch menu is a good start; however, more important, is teaching kids the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet both at home and at school. In reality, this transformation to eating healthier has to go in a complete circle from choosing the best options not only in the education environment, but at the retail setting level, at home – everywhere.
At Gourmet Services we understand the importance of the role we play in helping change the way children and teens perceive the foods they eat, and the successful execution of K-12 dining services. We live in a totally different world from what was considered acceptable or even healthy in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s time for change in the way our kids eat – and that takes a huge effort from all of us. For all of your foodservice management needs, trust Gourmet Services to deliver beyond your expectations.