National School Lunch Week is observed in the U.S. during the second full week of October each year. It is sponsored by the School Nutrition Association to develop awareness of the importance of providing healthy and nutritious lunches to school kids. The theme of this year’s celebration is “School Lunch: Recipes for Success.”
The state of children’s health and nutrition in the country is in crisis, hampering educators in their quest to prepare students for job readiness and global competition. If the problem is not remedied, the next generation’s quality of life will suffer.
Children spend many of their waking hours in school. Nationwide, they eat an average of 50 percent of their meals at school. Schools, therefore, have a prime opportunity to improve kids’ health and nutrition and inspire children to make proper food choices.
National School Lunch Week draws attention to the importance of developing a program to improve kids’ eating habits long-term. Nutritious school lunches are a good place to start, but menu planners face increasing challenges as the number of kids with food allergies rises. It is important that the school administration, teachers, and cafeteria staff be aware of children’s food allergies.
Parents should take the initiative and communicate their kids’ allergies to all appropriate school officials. They should also make sure that their child has access to an EpiPen in case they experience an anaphylactic reaction.
It is often best for parents of food-allergic kids to pack their children’ lunches. They are well aware of the triggers of their kids’ allergies and know how to avoid them. In a school setting, lunches are often prepared en masse, without the luxury of being able to cater to individual needs and aversions.
Phoenix food allergy specialists can help diagnose and treat your child. For kids allergies in Phoenix, ask about sublingual immunotherapy (also known as allergy drops). The drops help desensitize allergy sufferers to elements in food and the environment that trigger reactions. Kids can take the drops once daily under the tongue for relief from food and/or pollen allergies.