As a parent, you have the ability to help make the school meal changes a positive and exciting experience for your child. The new school meals have more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; low-fat milk; and less salty and fatty foods. Help your child check out these new meals and find what they like. It takes time to get kids to learn to like new foods. Here are some tips to help your children eat healthy foods:
- Make time to join your child for lunch in the school cafeteria.
- When your child gets home from school, ask what s/he ate for lunch.
- Eat meals with your child as much as you can and let your child see you eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Grocery shop with your child. Talk about where vegetables, fruits, grains, milk and meat come from.
- Try new foods and describe how they smell, feel and taste. Offer one new food at a time and serve something your child likes with that new food.
The Parent Toolkit
or download the sections, individually:
- School Meals Summary
- Key Messages For Parents
- Key Messages for Students
- Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act – School Meals Overview
- Recipes for Healthy Kids – Cookbook for Homes
- Tips for Parents (CSPI Resource)
- Letter to Parents Template 1 – General
- Letter to Parents Template 2 - Food & Calories
10 Tips Nutrition Education Series (in English and Spanish - except where indicated)
- Choose MyPlate
- Add More Vegetables to Your Day
- Focus on Fruits
- Make Half Your Grains Whole
- Got Your Dairy Today?
- With Protein Foods, Variety is Key
- Build a Healthy Meal
- Healthy Eating for Vegetarians
- Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits
- Liven up Your Meals With Vegetables and Fruits
- Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits
- Be a Healthy Role Model for Children
- Cut Back on Your Kid’s Sweet Treats
- Salt and Sodium
- Eat Seafood Twice a Week
- Eating Better on a Budget
- Use SuperTracker Your Way
- Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less
- Make Better Beverage Choices
- Make Celebrations fun, Healthy, & Active
- New HealthierUS School Challenge Brochure
- Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help – Parents
- MyPlate Mini Poster: What’s on Your Plate? (English & Spanish)
- Dietary Guidelines Consumer Brochure: Let’s Eat For The Health Of It
- Press Release: USDA Unveils Historic Improvements to Meals Served in America’s Schools
- Let’s Move Blog: Healthy Meals and Healthy Kids