Five Ways To Encourage Students To Eat Their Fruits And Vegetables

Food & Cooking Blog

One of the goals of the national school lunch program is to provide students with healthier options, including a mandated serving of fruit and vegetables at lunch. However, you can lead a student to veggies, but you can't make them eat. Here are some ways to help students in your school enjoy their portion of produce instead of throwing them in the trash.

1. Make the serving more kid-friendly.

Many schools comply with the school lunch requirement by simply adding cheap fresh fruit to the meal, like a whole apple or banana. Many students -- over half -- simply throw this fruit in the trash can on the way to their seat. A whole piece of fruit is not as enticing to a student. Oranges have to be peeled, and things like apples are hard for some students (like those with braces) to eat. Instead, have your lunch staff take the time to core and slice the apples, or quarter to oranges. Researchers found that when the option of sliced apples was available to students, the amount of kids who ate more than half the apple increased 73%!

2. Add some variation.

Many school lunch program struggle to find nutritious options that stay within the low food budget. However, an apple or serving of cooked mixed vegetables every day increases the chance that kids will get tired of this option and throw their produce out. You might hesitate to purchase varied fruit and veggie options, but if you're savvy, you can use leftovers in the main dish the next day. Here are some options that many students will enjoy:

  • fresh carrots and dip. Take leftover carrots and add them to a soup or shred them into a pasta sauce.
  • celery. Celery and peanut butter is a great produce snack for kids, and leftover celery hides easily in rice dishes.
  • grapes. Bite size food is always popular with kids. Use leftover grapes in chicken salad.

3. Create a vegetable eating contest.

Student love to participate in activities that will provide them with an immediate and visible reward. Consider bringing a large jar to the cafeteria and setting it on a table close to the trash can. Choose a staff member or student volunteer to man the table. As students come to throw away the remainder of their meal, they can show you that they ate their vegetable portion. Students are then permitted to drop a marble or another similar item into the jar. When the jar is full, the students can vote on a special menu for a celebration day or another prize, like a school movie day. The more frequently the jar fills to the top, the more frequently the school gets to enjoy a fun activity. 

Talk to a company like Servesmart for more information.


7 August 2016

Avoiding Danger In The Kitchen

About 10 years ago now, I was cooking with my mom when the worst happened. I was using the stove and the flames jumped into the pan, sparking a serious grease fire that I didn't know how to control. Fortunately, my mother thought quickly and extinguished the flames with a box of baking soda. This blog is all about avoiding dangers in the kitchen and knowing how to prevent problems before they arise. Your kitchen is an inherently dangerous place, but by knowing how to prevent issues, you might be able to save your home or save your family from very real problems.