Fifth Grade Lunch Team Tackle School FoodWed 11 May 2011
Story by Ellen Gordon
Students at McCall Elementary School start a Revolution on their Hot Lunch Program, Waukegan, Illinois.
At our school, we have formed a lunch team to bring healthy food to the students of McCall School. Our team the ‘Fifth Grade Lunch Team Advisory’, was created by our Assistant to the Principal, Ms Ellen Gordon, who has a passion for eating healthy and teaching our children at a young age to make healthy eating choices and incorporate physical activities to live a healthy life. The ‘Fifth Grade Lunch Team Advisory’ consists of 10 members and meets a few Wednesdays each month during our Recess to talk about our plan to change our lunch menu.
So far we have been carrying out surveys to see what other students would like to see on the lunch menu and what kinds of fruits and vegetables they like. We carry out our survey by visiting all the classrooms of students in grades 1 through 5 to find out their views and sampling foods such as yoghurt with strawberries, pineapple and apples. So far we have found that a lot of students want grapes more than broccoli and that most of us did not like the bean salad! We will also include all the staff in the school as we believe everybody should have a voice in our healthy food choices on our menu.
Thanks to our teams efforts our March lunch menu changed to include better foods, such as wheat crust on our pizza, side salad with dressing, lots of fresh fruits, less breaded foods, and more healthy snacks – these choices were created by our team. In April we opened a salad bar for lunch. It is so exciting because our teachers can eat from the salad bar as well. We don’t have to pay but they do!
Besides creating a healthy lunch menu, we also have a Milers Walking Club during recess. Each lunch team member received their own pedometer for being on the team. However, any student who wants to walk during recess, of course being supervised, can sign out a pedometer to see how many steps they walked. We also do plenty of exercise in gym which helps us stay fit!
McCall School is highly motivated and truly believes in this mission to educate our students early to live a healthy and productive life style. We need environmental changes in order to effectively combat childhood obesity and no one sector can solve a problem like this by itself. We need to begin educating children from day one so they can make good decisions. As nicely stated by Christian:
“I will do my best to reach our goal to bring healthy food to our school and I will not stop trying till we teach our friends at school how we can work together to make healthy choices!”
About the authors: Ms. Ellen Gordon is Assistant to the Principal at McCall Elementary, Waukegan, Illinois and had the help of Christian Revelo, Damaris Velazco, and Katty Enriquez - Fifth Graders on the “Fifth Grade Lunch Team”.
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