An Idaho elementary school turns out the lights and asks students to be quiet for the first five minutes of each lunch period. The “nutritional minutes” encourage students to be mindful about their eating, although one parent has questioned the practice, saying it may make students uncomfortable.
You may know your child’s favorite food to pack for lunch, but do you know how to keep it safe? Use these tips from the Department of Agriculture, including a handy infographic, to learn how to store food, keep it away from harmful bacteria, and avoid cross-contamination in your kid’s school lunch.
Maitland Middle School received a special visit from the OCPS food truck last week! Students were able to try new lunch items like fusion sandwiches to celebrate National School Lunch Week. Maitland Middle would like to extend a special thank you Ms. Haggerty for making lunch such an awesome experience for MMS students!
Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) offers OCPS students meals under the guidance of the USDA. The mission of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services is “to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education.
Please note the prices for the 2017-2018 OCPS student school meals.
|Free||$ –||$ –|
|Reduced||$ 0.30||$ 0.40|
|Paid (Elementary)||$ 1.35||$ 1.90|
|Paid (Secondary)||$ 1.75||$ 2.75|
|Adult||$ 2.75||$ 3.75|
Click here for more information, including the school breakfast and lunch menus.
Have you joined the Power Your Lunchbox movement?
More than 7,000 people have taken the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge to eat a healthier lunch this school year. Join the movement by visiting PowerYourLunchbox.com and taking the pledge. It’s simple – you pledge, they donate! For every pledge, Produce for Kids‘ partners will donate $1 to Feeding America®, providing 11 meals to families in need. Bonus – you’ll be automatically entered into our Bento-a-Day giveaway for a new bento box?
PowerYourLunchbox.com is also full of family-tested, dietitian-approved lunchbox ideas, after-school snacks and easy weeknight dinners to make back to school just a little less stressful! Don’t forget to show your healthy lunchboxes on social media using #PowerYourLunchbox. Proudce for Kids’ and Healthy Kids Today will be sure to share and help inspire other busy parents.
Teachers can get in on the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge action, too! By taking the pledge as a classroom by Sept. 23, teachers will be entered to win $500 in classroom supplies. If you know a great teacher, let them know! They can also grab free nutrition-focused lesson plans, pledge certificates for students and take-home materials for families on poweryourlunchbox.com/teachers.
Adapted from About.com
A research study published in the 2014 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that roughly one-quarter of school lunches brought from home met 3 of 5 national standards for proper nutrition which means that 75 percent of school kids might be eating less than nutritious lunches brought from home. Note, food purchased in school through the school lunch program must meet strict nutrition standards.
You may be wondering if your kids will eat a healthier lunch, after all, it can take time for a picky eater to get used to drastic changes.
Good news! You probably don’t need a total overhaul on your kids’ lunches — just try a few simple swaps to make lunch healthier.
5 Swaps to Make Your Kid’s Bag Lunch Healthier
Swap #1: Whole grain bread instead of white bread
Swap #2: Baked crackers instead of greasy potato or corn chips
Swap #3: Grilled or baked chicken breast instead of lunch meat
Swap #4: Fresh fruit instead of a cupcake
Swap #5: Water instead of sugary soft drinks
Click here for additional information on these tips.
Going back to school means a transition from the generally laid back summer days to more structured school days. It can also mean added stress for students and a need for increased awareness from parents.
Here a few tips we’ve gathered to help you and your kids experience a healthy and happy transition back to school:
Back to school may mean an increase in headaches for your child. This can be a result of a change in their bedtime routine, increased academic stress, too much screen time, not enough exercise and more. To decrease the likelihood of your child having headaches, makes sure they do the following:
Get enough sleep (sleep guidelines by age group can be found here)
No more than two hours of daily screen time (screen time guidelines for children can be found here)
Stay hydrated (tips to prevent dehydration in children can be found here)
Move 60 minutes/day (tips for kids’ physical activity can be found here)
For additional information on back to school related headaches, click here.
Backpacks are a necessity for students to carry their books, papers, and other school essentials. However, a heavy backpack can cause injury to students. Most doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids carry no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight in their packs.
For additional information on backpack safety, click here
School Breakfast and Lunch
Want to know what options are available to your student through their school’s breakfast and/or lunch program? Check our Orange County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Department’s (OCPS FNS) interactive menus here. The menus allow the user to look up nutritional makeup of the food item as well as view a picture of the actual food item from OCPS FNS. This service is also available through the app store here. Bonus, the app allows parents and students to provide direct feedback to OCPS FNS about the food served in their school.
Stopping for School Buss
Each year, Florida drivers illegally pass school buses nearly two million times. Each illegal pass-by could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student. The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child’s life, which is why Florida’s departments of Education, Transportation, and Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, have teamed up to develop the Stop on Red, Kids Ahead campaign to remind drivers of the laws and safe practices to take when approaching a school bus.
For additional back to school health tips, visit our friends at KidsHealth.
Have a back to school health tip you would like to share with us? Leave a comment or visit us on Facebook: HealthyKidsTodayMagazine or Twitter: @HealthyKids2Day