NewsRegion C Palm Beach County

Actions

Smarter Lunchrooms Movement works to make school lunches healthier, reduce waste

Posted: 6:47 AM, Aug 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-15 08:46:15-04

Even though many children hate eating their vegetables, the Palm Beach County School District is finding ways to get them to eat healthy.

The Smarter Lunchrooms program has made its way into Palm Beach County, and school district officials are testing it at elementary, middle and high schools. 

RELATED: More Back to School coverage

The program uses simple strategies to gently nudge students to make healthy choices.

That strategy includes offering sliced or cut fruit, which can make a difference their diet. Studies show that this act alone can increase student consumption by more than 70 percent. 

The program also encourages schools to offer fruits and vegetables in all service lines, keep milk coolers stocked throughout meal service, offer at least two types of fruit and two types of vegetables and offer pre-packaged salads or a salad bar to all students.

“We’re looking at where we’ve set the bar and trying to move above that," Palm Beach County School Food Service Director Allison Monbleau said. "It's really making sure that we have a nutritious menu and encouraging kids to try those fruits and vegetables. 

Aside from promoting health eating, Monbleau said the program is also reducing the amount of waste in lunchrooms. 

She says parents can expect to hear about some of these changes from their children, who are also being given the chance to taste-test some of the items throughout the year.