October 9-13 is National School Lunch Week. The #NSLW17 theme is “School Lunch: Recipes for Success,” designed to help you tell your school lunch story, including the ‘secret ingredients’ to your success! Share with students, parents, and school officials during NSLW to show them what makes your school lunch program special.

Why celebrate school lunch?

The National School Lunch Program offers children an opportunity to eat a nutritionally balanced meal during the school day. Children who eat nutritious meals are ready to learn and have energy for physical activity.

School lunch menus are planned to provide children with the nutrients they need, and must not contain too much salt, fat, or sugar. Over the past 10 years, national rules have improved the quality of school food dramatically. School cafeterias are now offering more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables – some grown on nearby farms. Meals always include a fruit and a vegetable along with the entrée, and some districts allow students to select multiple, or even unlimited, fruits and veggies.

General Resources:

MyPlate Guide to School Lunch

Let’s Get Started

National School Lunch Week Infographic

National School Lunch Week Infographic Spanish Edition

Activity Sheets for Kids

FSNE educators and teachers use this annual event as an opportunity to craft a multi-layered SEM intervention at FSNE schools:

Get to Know the School Meals Program: The resources below will help you understand lunchroom dynamics and develop a positive relationship with food service staff.

Nudging Students Toward Healthy Choices: Steering students toward healthy foods can be as simple as using positive verbal prompts and promoting healthy menu items with fun, creative names.

Curricular Connections: Extending classroom-based nutrition education into the cafeteria helps students connect the information they’ve learned to the choices available in the lunchroom. This can be as simple as talking up an item on the lunch menu that was tasted in the classroom. Teachers implementing FSNE’s ReFresh curriculum can modify several activities to connect to the cafeteria:

Tasting Events: Creating opportunities to sample new foods is key to developing healthy eaters. Healthy foods can be sampled in the classroom, or with a little more planning, during taste tests that involve the whole school.

 Connect with Parents:

  • Newsletters: Farm to school newsletter (English) and (Spanish) seasonal Gardening for Nutrition newsletters (English) and (Spanish), and other relevant newsletters
  • Recipes: select recipes that feature items from the school menu or items tasted in class
  • DHR Flier:  Fall Vegetables