Parent and Family Involvement
Nowadays, it’s easy for children to get their hands on food that is not good for them. There are fast food restaurants on every street corner, and the healthy food our children should be eating can be expensive. Lots of TV ads tell kids that fast food is fun and good for them, but children need food that provides nutrition as well as a full stomach.
The healthier your child’s diet is, the healthier your child can be. While healthy food is very important for everyone, it is especially important for children because diet impacts how they grow and develop. A healthy diet can help prevent obesity and weight related diseases, such as diabetes. It also helps children learn. The connection between what children eat and how they perform in school is important for all of us to understand. This is why our schools offer affordable or free healthy breakfast and lunch options for kids.
Providing students their choice of milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, school meals are a great value. School cafeterias offer students lots of healthy choices and help children learn how to assemble a wellbalanced meal. Parents can know that their children will be eating the correct amount of food in school cafeterias as well because federal regulations require schools to serve age-appropriate portions as part of the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program.
All children at participating schools may purchase meals that meet federal nutrition standards, through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, but many families are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Families receive applications for the free and reduced price program from their school at the start of the school year.
To learn more about the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs in your child’s school, visit your local school website or you can find links to California school districts at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/sd/. Once at the school district’s website, you can get information about school lunch and breakfast menus, and the application process to get your child involved in this program. It is also always ok to visit your child’s school to get any questions you may have, answered.