Tag Archives: lunch room

Central Supports Michelle Obama’s Initiative to Put Salad Bars in Schools

Salad bars have been the buzz in school foodservice news lately, with the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign.  This stems from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools’ vision is simple—increase the amount of salad bars in schools enabling all children the choice of fruits and vegetables at school.

The goal of this initiative anticipates the funding and granting of 6000 salad bars to schools over the next three years.  Their goal is to raise $15,000,000 and so far, they’ve raised $1,416,586 and have granted 552 salad bars.

Why salad bars? There are many reasons.  In an article by the Houston Press, they stated the results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 which concluded only one percent of adolescents ate the correct serving of fruit and vegetables recommended by the then-current 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  (Check out their website for the latest update from 2010).

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These numbers are astounding. We’ve found many other similar statistics for previous blog posts with similar results—all stemming down to the core issue that children aren’t meeting the nutritional standards they need.

The National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance, The Lunchbox, United Fresh and Whole Foods have all got on board with the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign.

Whole Foods has had their own similar campaign called the Salad Bar Project.  They have since announced themselves as a founding partner with the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Campaign.

In early February, Whole Foods announced they would award grants for over 500 free salad bars.  A PR Newswire release said Whole Foods, through the Salad Bar Project, had an original goal to raise $750,000.  With shopper’s donations, they exceeded expectations and raised $1.4 million in September 2010.

Schools receiving the donations will get a salad bar kit, which includes a five-well Cambro® salad bar that also includes utensils, pan inserts, chilling pads and training tools. These tools can also be found on The Lunch Box’s website.

Schools who would like to receive a salad bar through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools can apply here, and those who would like to add to the cause and make a donation can do so by clicking the “Donate to a School” link on the homepage—which will direct you through which school or district you would like to help.

Also, if you’re a school with the funding and are searching for ways to make your school healthier, a salad bar is the way to go.  Central has a variety options and accessories to make this possible for your foodservice application.  Browse the website, look in our catalog or contact a Product Consultant at 800-222-5107 with any questions you may have about salad bars.

Changing the American Lunch Room

Schools are back in session and while the classroom is very important, the lunch room plays a very significant role to students. Whether it is revising layout and design or implementing healthier foods, any change to your lunch room can be beneficial to students.  Schools across the United States are implementing these different changes to better their cafeterias.

In a recent article by School Nutrition Magazine, they featured “Color Your Cafeteria Beautiful” which explains the benefits of adding color and vibrance to the cafeteria as opposed to the all too familiar “fluorescent lighting and cinderblock walls.”  They discovered adding color can actually build participation, encourage students towards different menu items, and promote a positive attitude for everyone.

file000826359266Children have been introduced to (and are enjoying) healthier foods such as bean soup, turkey sandwiches and salads with a light dressing. They also are providing a variety of low fat milks as well as plain skim. They do acknowledge different flavors have almost twice the amount of sugar in them, however, have listened to experts who say the benefits of calcium outweigh the amount of sugar.

Instead of serving lunch, schools in the Roanoke district have an “offer” model which allows students to take only what they are planning to eat and in return decreases waste. And now during the few days where menu items like sloppy joes are available, students are going for the turkey sandwich instead!

So if you are trying to decide whether or not to make changes to your lunch room, consider the short and long term benefits it will have for your students and your school by making it a better and healthier environment.