A look at which states have the healthiest school lunches

School-based therapy company, ProCare Therapy, ranked which states have the healthiest school meals based on five different factors, including NSLP participation and participation in farm-to-school.
Students eating lunch at school
Massachusetts was considered to be the state with the healthiest school lunches according to the report. | Photo: Shutterstock

School-based therapy company, ProCare Therapy has released its State of School Lunch Report which ranks what states have the healthiest school lunches.

ProCare determined its rankings based on five different factors: farm-to-school participation rate, the number of National School Lunch Program lunches served per 10,000 children, students’ fruit consumption, students’ vegetable consumption and students’ sugary drink consumption.

It compiled the data for each factor using reports such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Farm to school (F2S) census and the Health Resources and Service Administration’s (HRSA)
National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH).

Each state was given a school lunch index score from 0 to 100 points based on the factors above which were weighted equally. Scores earning 100 are considered to be the best.

Massachusetts (70.53 points), Maine (70.49 points), Hawaii (68.75 points), North Dakota (65.71 points) and Virginia (65.46 points) were ranked as the top five states with the healthiest school meals, while Alaska (41.34), New Mexico (40.98), Wyoming (40.38), Idaho (34.89) and Louisiana (34.60) rounded out the bottom ranked states.

The report also included the most popular school lunch item in each state using Google search data. Pizza, burgers, Bosco Sticks and chicken sandwiches seem to be a student favorite in many states.

Check out the map below to see each state’s ranking and most popular lunch item:



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