For the first time in two generations, America's children have shorter life expectancies than their parents. According to USDA, only 2% of children in the U.S. eat enough fruits and vegetables, and nearly a third are on track to contract Type II diabetes. Every day, 30 million children eat lunch provided by their school, where food service challenges contribute to these national problems. Highly-processed, ready-to-heat food loaded with fat, salt and sugar has become a staple of school lunch.
By providing every child with access to healthy, whole, delicious food every day, schools can positively impact our children's health. But they need help making systemic changes. The Lunch Box is updating our crucial tools to help schools fulfill recent changes in USDA guidelines. Over 19,000 visitors a month find free recipes, training videos, menu planners, financial templates, and educational curricula that help them solve every challenge from grassroots advocacy to inventory tracking.
Well-nourished students have more energy, are able to focus for longer periods of time, and are better able to learn than those who are slowed down by empty calories and sugar crashes. The eating habits that children develop early in life will affect their diets - and their health - as adults. By changing the way children eat - and think about - food, we are helping to create a future generation of informed consumers and parents whose food choices will support sustainable, healthy food systems.
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