K-12 survey: Encouraging healthy choices

Here's how operators are getting students to try healthier foods.
healthy options

An overwhelming majority of respondents (79.3%) say they use marketing materials to boost healthy eating, while many also incorporate hands-on activities such as taste tests (62.1%) and cooking classes (10.6%). Here’s a sampling of their responses.     

“I did a veggie challenge: If [students] ate 70% of their veggies during the month, they received a reward [of] outside activities like kickball, hacky sack, frisbee, etc.”

Gloria Reynolds
ood Service Director
Burnt Ranch Elementary
Burnt Ranch, Calif.

 “We have a large fruit and vegetable bar that is filled with at least three fresh fruits, two to three canned fruits and salad. We always have raw veggies such as baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and grape tomatoes. I try to serve in-season fruits whenever possible. I have noticed a lot more kids eating fruit and vegetables since we offer more than one choice, as there is always something they enjoy.”

Tannia Rolls
Director of Foodservice/Kitchen Manager
Northeast R-IV School District
Cairo, Mo.

“We host a farmers market on Saturdays and purchase produce from some of the farmers that sell at the market.”

Mark Woodson
The Grove School
Redlands, Calif.

“We have themed special meals that are all locally sourced. These meals are advertised and promoted.”

Emily Murphy
Director of School Nutrition
Bedford School District
Bedford, N.H.


Steal this idea: Promoting to parents

Denver Public Schools created recipe videos inspired by BuzzFeed’s popular Tasty Videos to give students and their parents an inside look at how to make some of their dishes served on the line. Users can access the recipes and the videos on the district’s school nutrition website.


Farm fresh

Locally sourced food, whether grown at school or by local farmers, can help teach students where their food comes from as well as support the local economy. More than 80% of respondents say they offer a farm-to-school initiative at their district.

What farm-to-school initiatives are you currently implementing?



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