This week is National School Lunch Week. Presented by the School Nutrition Association, NSLW was created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and is a celebratory week of events and activities promoting the benefits of the National School Lunch Program. According to the SNA, the NSLP provides 5.1 billion lunches annually–over 3 million kids served every day. The SNA created a helpful toolkit to give ideas to schools to celebrate this week. The theme for this year’s program is “Get in the Game with School Lunch.” The goal of this theme is to emphasize the importance of balancing healthy eating and physical activity for kids.
Tips for Success
The SNA has provided a list of tips to have a successful NSLW. One of the main tips is to get students involved. It could be having a sports-themed art contest, or creating a survey about favorite menu items. No matter what you do, it’s important to make the students feel like they’re involved in the celebration. Another tip is to decorate. It’s a celebration, so it should look the part! NSLW posters can be found at the SNA’s website.
The SNA also recommends keeping parents in the loop about NSLW. There are brochures available on their website to send home with your menus so that parents know it is a special week in the cafeteria. Finally, what promotion would be complete without social media? Utilize your school’s Twitter, Facebook, newsletter, blog and more to get the word out about NSLW.
There are several ways to engage students, parents and faculty during this week. One idea is to bring in a local athlete to talk to your students about the importance of eating healthy for energy. It’s one thing for Mr. Anderson to tell the class to eat healthy. It’s another thing for DEREK JETER to tell the class to eat healthy! That’s what I’m talking about (Okay, so Derek Jeter probably won’t be available to talk to your school, but local high school or college athletes would!).
Another idea shared by the SNA is to distribute pieces of paper shaped like footballs or baseballs to students, asking them what their favorite sports or activities are, as well as what healthy meal they should eat beforehand for energy. You could post or hang these in the cafeteria for the week.
For staff, it might be fun to ask them to wear sports costumes for lunch. Whether it’s their favorite team’s jersey, or as a referee, getting staff involved really helps drive enthusiasm for the program.
Get in the Game
For more information on NSLW, click here. And if you need any kitchen equipment or supplies, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call 800-215-9293 to speak to one of our helpful product consultants
Image at top photo credit: School Nutrition Association