Healthy School Foods
Healthy foods at school build healthy bodies and minds, better grades, and create healthy habits for the future. That’s why Springfield Public Schools works hard to make school meals locally sourced and as healthy as possible. But schools need your support to keep school foods up to the standards you expect for your student, and that families do their part to keep schools a healthy foods-only zone. Check out the easy ways YOU can help below!
Send Fun, Not Junk Food
Did you know there’s a rule at your student’s school that junk foods like cupcakes and candy should not be brought in for celebrations and events? Providing fun pencils, stickers, or other non-food items instead helps avoid sending mixed messages to students about the importance of healthy foods, AND helps protect the many students with serious allergies from ending up sick and missing school.
Send Fun, Not Junk Food
You can set the example! And when you attend PTO meetings and you can use your voice to make sure everyone starts paying more attention to the foods brought into school. For more info and ways to help, contact:
You can set the example! And when you attend PTO meetings and you can use your voice to make sure everyone starts paying more attention to the foods brought into school.
Kids Eat Free, Everyday
What’s better than free food? Free and HEALTHY food. That’s what your student’s school is offering for both lunch and breakfast. When you take advantage of these healthy and locally sourced meals for your student, it’s one less thing for busy families to worry about. Just get ‘em to school, and know your students being given foods to grow strong bodies and sharp minds.
Kids Eat Free, Everyday
Menus are available online for your school at Springfield Public Schools's new menu software called Nutrislice.
Design Local & Healthy Meals
The new Culinary Nutrition Center is now providing local and healthy foods to your student’s school! But they want to make sure YOU are part of the process, since you know your students best. Your and your fam can taste test recipes and help design menus for school meals and snacks, so that students will actually enjoy and benefit from!
For more info on how to get involved with the Culinary Nutrition Center, click on the button below. This button will take you to the contact form of Home Grown Springfield, which is the Culinary Nutrition Center Program of the Springfield Public Schools.
Check out the video below to learn more about school wellness and why it matters.
School Foods Explained
There’s big things going on in Springfield to make sure your student is getting the right fuel for their growing body and mind. Getting proper nutrition not only benefits physical health, but it is also associated with doing better in school. Springfield Public Schools provides free breakfast and lunch to any student, without having to apply for anything! The best part? These foods are now more local, fresh, and healthier than ever. But prioritizing these great healthy options to develop healthy habits is more difficult when they aren’t always the only foods around during the school day.
We can’t expect our students to be excited about healthy foods at school and learn healthy habits, when foods like candy and cupcakes are constantly brought in for celebrations. We know, it’s just a birthday or holiday, it’s not like students or parents bring plates of cupcakes into class every day. But here’s the deal, those birthdays, holidays, and other parties add up over a whole school year. When unhealthy foods are brought into schools it sends confusing messages to our students. Families and schools spend time and effort teaching students to choose healthy options to create lifelong habits That won’t happen if we don’t keep our messages consistent.
Here’s another thing to consider: allergies. No one expects that you know every child’s food restrictions in your student’s class. But the reality is, there are likely some students who have food allergies, whether that or the teacher are aware or not. Everyone wants to participate in celebrations and sometimes students or teachers don’t think to ask about ingredients or allergies. Allergic reactions can make students sick, and even cause students to miss school and fall behind. The best way to prevent this from happening is to move away from sending those old school junk foods to school.
As parents and families, we can be role models and start a new trend when it comes to celebrations at school. Think small non-food items like fun pencils, silly erasures, stickers. Or, you can encourage schools to provide activities during celebrations instead of a focus on food - like classroom games or even extra recess time. Reaching out to your school’s PTO or Wellness Committees is a great way to start encouraging the school and families to move away from the junk foods and towards healthier school environment for all of our students.
Spread the word by sharing the video below (who doesn’t love puppets!?), and head back up to the section above to take action!
A Piece of the School Wellness Puzzle
The work on healthy school foods being done at your schools is just one important piece of a much part of a larger picture of “School Wellness.” School wellness efforts are aimed at creating the healthiest school environment possible for our youth. Schools provide a place for students to not only learn what’s in their books and on the whiteboard, but to develop healthy habits, like healthy eating and being physically active. And guess what? The students who eat well and stay active, also perform better in school, showing higher grades and test scores.
All school districts already have written standards in place to make sure they provide your students with the healthiest school environment possible - typically referred to as a School Wellness Policy. But they need parents and families like you to make sure those standards are up to par, and that they are actually implemented at your individual schools!
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