Healthy meals equal healthy minds, and as the caretakers of young minds we have a duty to ensure that the nutritional needs of all students are being met right alongside their educational requirements.
We know from the abundance of research on the relationship between health and academic achievement that a balanced diet enables optimal performance for our students.
New federal nutrition standards have doubled the amount of fruits and vegetables served in school lunches. Increasing children’s intake of fruits and veggies will help to address the pressing issue of childhood obesity—currently an epidemic across the nation, with the percentage of overweight or obese children tripling in the last three decades.
But we can reverse this terrible trend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that good nutrition promotes the proper growth and development of children, that there is a 15-percent reduction in school absences when kids eat nutritious lunches and that eating healthful foods is associated with improved cognitive function, memory and mood.
What is the easiest way for schools to comply with these new guidelines and improve student nutrition and well-being? One answer is salad bars.
In an effort to support schools and districts across Santa Clara County as they work to comply with the new nutritional policy, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, South Bay Labor Council and San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce have partnered for the second year in a row to sponsor the Lam Research Heart and Soles 5K on Feb. 7 to bring salad bars to schools in Silicon Valley. Part of the larger national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools effort, this event has already brought 48 salad bars to local schools.
By ensuring that every school that has a need for a salad bar gets one, we can guarantee that all children have access to great food. Please join us and support the introduction of healthier eating habits in our schools, so that we can curb the obesity epidemic and promote the good health, vitality and well being of all children. This can only help students truly focus on academic success every day in the classroom.