Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size
A
A
A

Let Them Eat Veggies: School Lunch Gets a Makeover

Make Healthy Foods More Enticing

Organize a tasting as part of back-to-school night, a PTA meeting, or even during lunch period. “If kids try before they buy, they may be more likely to give it a shot,” says Jessica Donze Black, RD, MPH. She is the project director for the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project at the Pew Health Group.

Brian Wansink, PhD, is the co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs in Ithaca, N.Y. “We can’t just load up kids’ trays with healthy foods and expect them to gobble it all up,” he says. “It is very important for kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, but it is also important to realize that we can’t force them to do that.” 

The “force-on-tray” method will increase how many vegetables kids take and eat, but it also increases how much they will waste, he says. A better bet is to make fruits look more enticing and give vegetables cool names like "big bad bean burritos."

“You have to do more than change the menu,” he says.

“Big picture, this is a good idea,” Black says. Schools that saw the changes coming had already tweaked their menus and are not experiencing any resistance from students.

See for Yourselves

Parents need to see the new lunch menus for themselves.

“Eat lunch with your child and see what is available,” Black says. Talk to food services about what has changed, and ask your children what they ate for lunch and whether or not they liked it.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
pantry
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens