My DD has been lucky that several schools she has attended had a salad bar. She says her Girl Scout camp also has a salad bar - which includes fresh fruit - and she loves it. Over the years, she has learned that she can say she is going to buy/eat the main entree, but she'll skip right over that (which is usually yucky and high in salt and fat) and eat only the side dishes and/or the salad bar.
I'd like to see "salad bar" be one of the entree options everyday.
My DD is lactose intolerant. I'd like to see the schools either bring in lactaid milk or provide bottled water as an alternative. The "juice" alternative for kids who can't drink milk is usually nothing more than sugary colored water (i.e.: Koolaid).
DD's school last year (4th & 5th grades) took a break mid-morning for a fundraiser every single day. All the classes would (in turn) go down to the cafeteria to buy CANDY and cans of SODA!!!! OMG! Yes, it was a good fundraiser because the kids were definitely buying the stuff but I was astounded that the school allowed this for the MID-MORNING snack. We're in a different school this year so I'm going to be watching closely to what this new school does.
What do I want to know?
~ What about a move to locally source food. A lot of schools depend on USDA stockpiled cheese and other foods that are produced because farmers want the subsidies. I'd like to see the programs turned on their heads and instead of giving excess food to the schools, have the schools determine what is healthy for the children to eat then find sources for that.
~ What are they doing about nutrition funding fraud? That was a big story this last year and I'm sure we've only scratched the surface.
~ What are they doing about schools that don't have full kitchens? What alternatives do they have for that?
~ What are they doing about food safety for children who bring lunch to school. Apparently there is no lunch box that can keep the food at a proper temperature from home to lunch. What can the schools do to help address that (a refrigerator in every classroom?)
~ For children who bring lunch to school, are there alternatives so they can buy partial lunch or items to supplement their lunch, for instance, a piece of fresh fruit or a side salad?