Top 10 Reasons Why Your School Should Have a Salad Bar
Both academic research and actual experience in schools across the country have shown that children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when given a variety of choices on a school salad bar.
Increased daily access to fruits and vegetables provides a personal experience about choices that can shape a child’s habits far beyond the school lunch line and prepares them for a lifetime of healthy eating.
When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respond by trying new items, incorporating greater variety into their diets, and increasing their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Salad bars can help increase participation in school lunch. When more students eat school lunches, there are often more funds to allow for further improvements to the school’s meal program.
The USDA supports the use of salad bars as an effective method for meeting the new meal requirements for fruits and vegetables. The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity has also endorsed school salad bars as a tool for providing healthier food choices to kids.
Salad bars are a great way to utilize school garden vegetables and let kids taste what they’ve grown. This also educates children on what fresh grown foods look like when served in the raw state.
Salad bars are a smart first step to incorporating not only healthier, but also fresh foods into your school lunch program. You can start with a basic plan and build your program from there.
Salad bars can help raise community awareness about positive food changes being made at your school. They are also a useful tool for increasing parents’ involvement in their children’s school meals.
Salad bars are a great way to get kids to try different whole grains that are needed to comply with the new USDA guidelines. Whole grain salads that include brown rice, Bulgur wheat, couscous, and quinoa can be offered as healthy choices.
Salad bar equipment can be free to your school if you apply for, and are approved to receive, a Salad Bars to Schools grant.