Monday, August 23, 2010

Texas School District Finds a New Way to Get Students Excited About School Meals

Guest Blogger: Lindsay Rodgers, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Food and Nutrition Division

Finding ways to help kids eat right is an ongoing challenge, which is why one Texas child nutrition professional is going straight to the source.

In an effort to find healthy foods that will appeal to junior high school students, Jefferson Independent School District Child Nutrition Director Terry Moore assembles a weekly taste-testing panel made up of students to sample new products and recipes at Jefferson Junior High School. Moore's initiative has generated so much excitement and enthusiasm that students consider it an honor to be randomly selected for the taste-test panel. Following each session, Moore is joined by the students for an outdoor walk to discuss the importance of healthy eating.

Additionally, Moore says she often posts pictures and new food product signs around her office door to encourage students to visit and talk about school meals. The conversation almost always leads to questions about the next taste-test panel.

I commend Moore and Jefferson I.S.D. for finding an way to get students excited about eating school meals. Her efforts are a welcome complement to TDA's 3E's of Healthy Living -- Education, Exercise and Eating Right. With additional help from parents and communities, we can partner together to overcome the challenge of helping kids eat healthy and do our part to help address childhood obesity.

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