When was the last time you thought about school lunches? Well, they’ve certainly come a long way from the super-processed foods of the past. Now, a school lunch menu in a Maryland school looks like fruit bars, salad bars, fresh oranges and baby carrots, sweet potato fries, and potato wedges seasoned with Old Bay. Not only are they nutritious and delicious, school lunches are also an invaluable resource for growing children, as typically more than half of their daily caloric intake will come from lunch at school.
Teach Lifelong Eating Habits
Our school lunches are made with fresh and nutritious ingredients to set children up for healthy eating habits in the future. When students are presented with healthy choices and become interested in eating them regularly, they are more likely to maintain those eating patterns throughout their life, leading to a longer, healthier life.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2009 showed that children will eat healthy school meals, with more vegetables, if they are presented in a tasty, visually appealing way. In Maryland, children spend 13 years in school, from kindergarten to their senior year of high school, and eating a healthy school lunch throughout will definitely set them up for success nutritionally through adulthood.
Directly Impacts Children’s Health
School lunches can not only have an important long-term impact on a child’s health and wellness, but there are immediate benefits of a healthy diet.
Hungry children don’t develop as efficiently; spending, on average, more time in the hospital, more time at home recovering from illnesses, and just more time being sick in general. A lack of food means their bodies just can’t “catch-up” as easily and aren’t able to grow to their fullest potential. Children who are hungry can also be susceptible to a range of other illnesses from ear infections, anemia, and asthma to food-related issues like hypertension and diabetes.
Well-nourished children are definitely at an advantage developmentally and are better able to participate in class. Children who eat school breakfasts and lunches have been found to have higher grades, fewer missed days, and fewer behavioral problems in the classroom. Good breakfasts and lunches are the necessary keys to children who learn better, behave better, and perform better in class.
Protects Low-Income Children from Hunger
Low-income families often depend on the reduced or free school lunch program for their child’s nutritional needs. Since food plays a critical role in a child’s ability to focus, our school lunches are packed with nutrients for students that may otherwise not have regular access to those types of healthy foods.
Also, the meals are provided in a way that decreases the stigma of reduced or free lunch programs. Children can be so sensitive to being different that they may often feel too embarrassed to accept help. In Maryland, universal school meals mean that children get the nutrition they need without the stigma of a “hand-out.”
School Lunch Catering from Abundance Catering
When you work with The Abundance Catering Company, you get a partner that understands how important it is that your co-workers or students are satisfied with the catering service. Whether you need catering for 10 people or 1,000, Abundance Catering can help. The Abundance Catering Company specializes in corporate catering and K-12 school dining services for Anne Arundel, Howard, and Baltimore counties, as well as Baltimore City. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, for weekly updates regarding our services and more!