Does your school cafeteria provide students with healthy lunches regularly?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Does your school cafeteria provide students with healthy lunches regularly?

View Results

Healthy eating is a hot topic among schools and school districts. With the rise in childhood obesity rates and the concern over related health issues, making sure our students receive healthy, nutritious foods is now more important than ever. This generation is marked as the first one likely to die before their parents and obesity among our young has reached alarming proportions.

Many families eat out more often than families a generation ago because fast foods are so inexpensive and convenient. Couple this with the sedentary lifestyle of many families where countless hours each day are spent watching television or playing video games and it is easy to see why obesity has become such a problem in this country. Video game systems have become interactive in an attempt to capture a larger share of the market. Families concerned about inactivity may feel that these game systems with their interactive controllers are providing exercise for their children. Perhaps this is the case, but certainly the level of exercise is not the same as riding a bike or playing tag.

Schools are supposed to be centres of learning and places where our students can see role models worthy of emulating. Providing healthy food at school cafeterias is an important step in teaching students healthy eating habits at home. It is disturbing, therefore, to realize that more than half of the teachers who took part in this poll feel that their school cafeteria does not provide healthy lunches on a regular basis.

Are healthy options being offered but students are making poor choices when it comes to lunchtime? It is an unfortunate reality that when offered the choice between chicken nuggets or salad most students will pick the chicken nuggets and then add a side of French fries. Removing unhealthy temptations may help students eat healthier at school, but will this type of eating carry over to meals at home? Probably not. Education aimed at the entire family is the key to developing healthy, lifelong eating habits. Schools can do their part by providing healthy lunch programs.