Making School Lunches Healthier and More Affordable

Most schools are not able to provide children with affordable and healthy food. Most of the parents who provide their children with healthy food end up paying large sums of money in schools. There are certain parents who cannot afford to provide their children with quality lunch because of high costs.

However, it is important for parents to ensure that their children eat healthy meals so that they can be able to concentrate in class. A child who eats healthy and nutritious food receives enough energy that enables him to finish his school day (Poppendieck 23).

Most parents would like their children to live healthy lives but circumstances force them to provide their children with low quality food. This paper will therefore demonstrate that it is possible to provide children with healthy food in schools at affordable prices.

If children are left to choose their own lunch, they would not be able to select the appropriate meals for their growth. They require the assistance of a grown up person who would assist them in choosing the right food. In a study that was carried out in 2007 by Institute for Social Research, it was noted that providing healthy meals to children was not enough (Cooper and Holmes 45).

It is therefore important for school administrators to look for ways that can enable them to reduce the options of unhealthy food. The best option would be for parents to pack meals of their children at home. This is because there are very many cheap and nutritious food stuffs which parents can give to their children. Nutritious food is helpful in preventing boredom in class as well as in ensuring that children are able to concentrate on their studies.

Leading by example is an effective way of ensuring that a child eats healthy food. For example, it is not possible for a parent to prevent her child from eating unhealthy products if the child can see his parents consuming them. Whenever children see older people eating healthy food, they follow in their footsteps.

Therefore, when a parent is preparing meals for her child, she should ensure that she consumes the food together with her child (Stallings, Suitor and Taylor 88). This would make it easy for the child to consume the food even when in school.

Laptop lunch boxes are popular ways of ensuring that children consume nutritious food which is friendly to the body and the environment. Laptop lunch boxes are containers which are recyclable and reusable thereby making it easy for parents to afford them (Nnakwe 32). The lunch boxes also have a book which gives parents ideas on how they can prepare healthy lunch for their children.

To ensure that the school feeding program is healthy and affordable, it is important for parents to get involved in the school feeding program. Parents should have an advisory council which would be responsible for making decisions on the type of food that their children eat.

The food options selected should be acceptable and affordable by many parents (Nnakwe 34). When parents get involved in the decision making process, they can relax knowing that their children are on a healthy diet.

Parents can participate in reducing the cost of food as well as in ensuring that the food that their children eat while in school is healthy. It is also important for parents to let their children take part in deciding the type of food that they eat. A parent should ensure that she teaches her child on how to pack healthy food.

The parent should also allow the child pack his own food more often. When the child is allowed to pack his own lunch, chances are high that the child would eat it comfortably. As a result, the parent would be able to reduce the cost of providing food to her child.

Since not all parents can be able to pack healthy food for their children, it is important for schools to ensure that the type of food available in schools is affordable and healthy. There are various varieties of food that schools can provide at affordable prices. These varieties include pizza quesadilla, corndog muffins, pasta salad, and rice with vegetables (Cooper and Holmes 56). These options have been approved to be healthy for school going children.

Parents should also ensure that they protect their children from the advertisements in the media. Most of the children who consume junk food are influenced by the media. This is mostly the case with those children who do not receive any advice from their parents regarding the type of food that the media advertises.

To ensure that children develop the habit of consuming healthy food in schools, parents should ensure that they educate their children on the tactics that the media uses to market the junk food and the harms that such food can cause to them (Stallings, Suitor and Taylor 25). Therefore, when a child is trained on how to consume healthy food, the parent is able to reduce the expenses incurred while providing food to her child.

Works cited

Cooper, Ann and Lisa M Holmes. Lunch Lessons:Changing the Way We Feed Our Children. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Nnakwe, Nweze Eunice. Community Nutrition: Planning Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2009. Print

Poppendieck, Janet. Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. California: University of California Press, 2010. Print.

Stallings, Virginia A, Carol West Suitor and Christine Lewis Taylor. School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children. New York: National Academies Press, 2010. Print.

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