With the new school year upon us, parents turn their attention to school clothes, school supplies and school food.
More than 31 million children rely on school meals for their daily nutrition, which too often consists of highly processed food laden with saturated fat. Not surprisingly, one-third of our children have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
To compound the problem, the Trump administration has loosened the 2010 school lunch rules calling for whole grains, fat-free milk and reduced salt content. The rules had an 86 percent approval rating.
Fortunately, many U.S. school districts now offer vegetarian options. More schools — including the entire school districts of Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Diego — have implemented Meatless Monday.
As parents, we need to involve our own children and school cafeteria managers in promoting healthy, plant-based foods in our local schools. Entering “vegan options in schools” in a search engine provides lots of useful resources.