Here in Orlando, at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we can not help be feel encouraged that more people every day are becoming aware of the importance of good nutrition for their health and well-being!
Restaurants are becoming more health-conscious. Menus are featuring smaller portions and choices such as gluten-free foods.
Grocery stores are more commonly stocking organic vegetables and special ty foods. Likewise, many lunch programs have been revised, updated, and reformed over the last four years.
At the Center, the doctors and staff are dedicated to the education of the public, about the critical relationship between food and feeling good. We believe that sometimes, teaching people how to eat is just as important as teaching them how to take medicine. Actually, it might be more important since good nutrition is good medicine for your body.
The Hunger Games was a fantasy movie, in which children physically competed for prizes of healthy food for their families.
Fortunately, this ugly scenario is not reality, but our school age students are in competition for their future. The school years form their education, their jobs, and their health issues.
It makes sense to give the next generation a healthy school day.
At the United States Agriculture Department, the USDA has been working toward a healthy school day lunch program since the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services recently stated, “Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, students across America are being served meals with more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.”
The USDA has seen that some of these efforts working well, as of 2014.
Statistics prove that kids are eating more healthy food. School breakfast participation is helping give fuel to students, leading to better test scores, increased school attendance and happier kids. Just one example of improvement in a school lunch program comes from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
David Binkle, Director, of the Los Angeles Unified School District Food Services stated, on May 30, 2014, “Today, we no longer serve items like flavored milk, chicken nuggets, tater tots, corn dogs, pizza and nachos. Today, what we do serve are atypical “kid-friendly items:” edamame, jicama sticks, teriyaki chicken bowls, turkey and vegetarian burgers as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.” This school system has also vowed to cut all added sugars from their program by 2015.
This effort requires parents, teachers, school nutrition professionals, communities, and legislators to work hard as they strive to make the next generation a healthy one.
Let’s look at some numbers:
1. $200 million dollars has been generated in school revenue, to intensify nutrition in snacks and meals. 91% of the schools in the US have updated their meals to new standards.
2. 24 percent, that’s 600,000 students, are taking advantage of the new school breakfast programs.
3. Today, while they are in school, students are eating 16% more veggies and 23% more fruit.
The government has updated many school kitchens with 160 million dollars of equipment in schools across the country.
We know that, thanks to this new mandate, we can count on schools to re-enforce the healthy eating habits parents establish for children at home. To see how America scores on the healthy eating index, visit this resource.
Don’t forget to plan something special for Father’s Day, June 15th!
Also, we hope you mark your calendars for “Listen To Your Gut, ” a free seminar here at the Center, June 18th. Among other things, find out what your body might be trying to tell you about yeast.
Once again, the Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine thanks you for visiting our blog.
Happy Father’s Day from our families to yours!