Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rachael Ray recently announced they will work together on a series of initiatives to help bring better food to NYC school lunches and better nutrition information to the classrooms. The overall goal of the Ray/Bloomberg partnership is to help NYC kids eat healthier and understand where their food comes from.
The new programs will help schools build a garden or connect them to an existing garden and provide cooking and nutrition instruction to young New Yorkers. The announcement was made next to the vegetable garden at PS 29 in Brooklyn, a site the school is using to teach students about healthy eating — in addition to enhancing science and nature curriculums.
One of those in attendance at the announcement was Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn who said "Teaching children about healthy eating and where our food comes from is just as valuable as teaching them how to read and write." I love this quote because I think it really wraps up my thoughts on school nutrition classes and lunch programs.
With childhood obesity still on the rise, it's more important than ever to teach children not only how to take tests and sharpen pencils, but also how to make healthy food choices several times each day. I recently wrote a rant about this on my blog, The Green Parent. I was specifically referring to an incident last week when my daughter tried to find out the nutritional content of the food being offered in the day's lunch and she was told that the school had "no idea and no way of finding out."
What could be more important than giving our kids the tools they need to make healthy choices in life?