The school year is in full swing, and students will be seeing some big differences in the school lunches they are served.
With new federal rules going into effect this year, school lunch providers will be trimming the fat and sugar, and pushing whole grains and more fruits and vegetables. Students will be given meals with more variety, including at least 3/4 of cup of vegetables for elementary students (one cup for high school).
This is a good start for healthier students. But schools only have the students for part of the day. What they eat and what they do when they get home will play a big role in giving them a healthy lifestyle. Will kids be coming home to fresh fruit and healthy snacks, or bags of chips and doughnuts? Will their evening meal be as healthy as their school lunch, or will it be deep fried? Will they come home and plop down in front of the TV or head outside to play?
It is great that schools are making healthier changes, but parents need to realize that teaching children a healthy lifestyle starts at home.
The Heart of New Ulm program is one way parents can start making changes. The project has a multitude of programs focusing on healthy eating and exercise, and stands ready to help families live healthier lives.