What is Salad Bars to Schools?
Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S) launched in 2010 with the mission of donating salad bars to U.S. schools so that every child has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This healthy school lunch initiative was a partnership founded by the Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Start Foundation, and Whole Foods Market in support of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.
While there is growing awareness of the health and educational benefits that salad bars provide to kids, many school districts are unable to afford the basic equipment needed to adopt this strategy. SB2S is committed to helping schools make this positive change.
Learn more about how to Get a Salad Bar.
Health and Educational Benefits
Why salad bars? Supporting Research shows that incorporating salad bars into school lunches increases children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. When offered healthy food choices, children respond by trying new items, incorporating greater variety into their diets, and increasing their daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Through these early, positive experiences, students are better prepared for a lifetime of healthy eating.
In support of these benefits, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity endorses the use of salad bars in schools and upgrading cafeteria equipment in order to provide healthy meals for kids. Similarly, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies determined in 2009 that America’s schools should increase fruits and vegetables at lunch to two servings in order to meet children’s basic health requirements. And in 2012, the USDA released new meal guidelines requiring 6.25 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables weekly at lunch depending on grade level. The USDA also stated: “Salad bars continue to be a great option for meeting the meal pattern requirements, especially vegetable subgroups.”
Significant supporting research from both the USDA and public groups has demonstrated that school children significantly increase their consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables when given a variety of choices via a school salad bar.
- USDA Memo – Salad Bars in the National School Lunch Program
- Salad Bar Evaluation
- Salad Bars to Schools: A Public–Private Partnership To Increase Student Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
- Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation Evaluation Riverside (CA) Unified School District Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program