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The Downside to Healthier School Lunches

Gregor Halenda

There's no doubt that having healthier options in school cafeterias is a must, and we applaud the schools that are making changes in their menus to introduce healthier foods. But an article in the Washington Examiner is shining a different light on this new health food push, claiming that swapping out pizza and hot dogs for hummus and whole-wheat bagels isn't an end-all solution to childhood obesity

Some D.C. districts now list calorie information -- something director of the Washington Center for Eating Disorders & Adolescent Obesity Dr. Tania Heller says does not belong in elementary schools. "It’s inappropriate to talk to young children about calories,” she said. “They might misinterpret it, and there is a small percentage of the population who will internalize dieting at a young age.” 

So what's the answer? I like how these 7 school cafeterias upgraded their menus, with creative ideas like growing student-run gardens for fresh produce and offering free apples and carrots throughout the day in hopes kids will cut back on unhealthy foods at lunchtime. And you can teach your kids to choose these healthier cafeteria options instead of getting in the fries line.

What do your kids eat for lunch? Do they know how many calories are in their meals?

More great lunch ideas:
20 Easy, Cute Bento Lunch Boxes
10 Fresh Lunchbox Ideas
15 Nut-Free Lunch Recipes