It is important for children to come to school emotionally and physically healthy. Studies show that children’s physical well-being has a significant effect on their learning and long-term success. When children are well-rested, well-nourished, and physically fit they are more ready to learn. "In 2011 a study, conducted by the National Centers for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and published in the Journal of Economics, showed that participation in the National School Lunch Program reduces poor general health by 29%, obesity by at least 17% and not getting enough food to sustain an active, healthy life by 3.8%.
According to research published in 2010 by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, just 1.1% of children's packed lunches meet nutritional standards for school meals. USDA research indicates that children who participate in the National School Lunch Program get better nutrition compared to those who do not participate.
For children, the National School Lunch Program provides a nutritious meal containing one-third of the recommended dietary allowance of necessary nutrients. For parents, the program offers a convenient method of providing a nutritionally balanced lunch at the lowest possible price. For schools, the program enhances children's learning abilities by contributing to their physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance and discipline problems and are more attentive in class." (Benefits of School Lunch, http://www.cps-k12.org/parents-students/food-service/nutrition-learning)
Your PTA is committed to helping to build healthy families, and thus healthy communities. We believe that we ALL people have an important role to play in making sure parents, schools, and communities have the support and resources they need in order to be healthy!
Supporting good nutrition and physical activity at school is only part of the picture. The best place to teach healthy habits is at home! Parents can set a great example for the whole family by stocking their pantries with healthy foods, providing only healthy choices for their children’s lunches when they bring them from home, teaching portion control, creating healthy new family traditions, and getting active alongside their children.