Getting Creative About Fighting Childhood Obesity
Berkeley Schools - LeConte Elementary
With obesity and related diseases threatening an ever-greater number of children, one of the biggest challenges facing society is how to encourage kids to eat more healthfully. PCRM has long been active in this arena by encouraging vegetarian and vegan options in schools through its Healthy School Lunches Campaign. This fall, the nutrition department added a new component to the program—the first-ever Golden Carrot Awards recognizing those foodservice professionals who are doing an exceptionally creative job of promoting good nutrition in the schools.
An incentive to go veg
PCRM awarded the grand prize to Berkeley Unified, a district serving nearly 9,000 students in California, for providing its students with lots of vegetarian options and teaching kids about the importance of good nutrition.
The second prizes went to the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter school in one of L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods; the Ross School, a private school on Long Island; and Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. These and the six schools that received an honorable mention have devised some clever ways to promote good nutrition, including replacing vending machines with big bowls of free fruit and teaching kids to grow and harvest their own vegetables.
Although most foodservice staff have yet to learn that dairy products, chicken, and fish are not health foods, the winning schools are all doing a good job of providing vegetarian alternatives, boosting fruit and vegetable consumption, and reducing fat intake.