Superintendent Denise Juneau encourages healthy lunch choices for Montana students

Thursday, October 14, 2010
By Faith Moldan

Superintendent Denise Juneau encourages healthy lunch choices for Montana students

National School Lunch Week is being celebrated this week from October 11-15, 2010. Schools across Montana work hard every day to serve tasty, eye appealing, and healthful lunches to students. This week they will have fun with promotional and educational activities in their programs while highlighting the benefits of school lunch.   The official theme this year is "School Lunch - What's on Your Tray?” The theme features an interactive campaign that aims to inspire every type of student to get excited about healthy school lunch choices.

State Superintendent Denise Juneau wants to congratulate Montana schools for stepping up to the plate to serve tasty and nutritional school meals. Sixteen of the state’s schools have received national or state recognition through the HealthierUS School Challenge and Healthier Montana Menu Challenge award programs.

“Students’ learning is not limited to the classroom. School lunch programs across the state are helping  students make important daily nutrition decisions, as well as instilling the knowledge they need to continue making healthy choices the rest of their lives,” said Juneau.

Serving more than 31 million children every school day, the federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost, and free meals to students. The program, which has been serving the nation's children for more than 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards.

The Office of Public Instruction is proud that Montana schools are serving more fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, and are making tremendous strides in reducing added sodium and sugar in foods served in the lunch line. 

Students who visit the web site: can take a personality quiz to reveal which of the site's cool cartoon characters fit their personality the best. Whether they score as a social star, busy bee, sports fanatic, or just totally chilled-out, students can learn what foods are best to fuel them up, keep them healthy, and get the most out of their action-packed school days. Each character comes paired with healthy eating tips, emphasizing the components of well-balanced school meals.

Visit a school lunch program in your area this week to see and taste for yourself the healthful choices available for children.   For more information, contact School Nutrition Programs at the Office of Public Instruction (406) 444-2501.



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