Let Them Eat Tofu


Why would Grady High School serve finicky teenagers tofu and hummus for lunch? Because they asked for it! Technically, it was the student body president, a vegetarian, who did the asking, but even without student requests, schools across the country are cutting fat and boosting fiber in the cafeteria.

The New York Times (registration required) also found schools talking about nutrition in science class, helping kids grown their own vegetable gardens, and swapping tater tots for sweet potato fries on the lunch menu.

Alarming trends in rising obesity and declining health have communities, educators, and nutrition experts taking note and taking action, including ASCD. The new ASCD Healthy School Report Card was created to help school communities enable, motivate, support, and reinforce student and staff adoption and practice of healthy behaviors.

Just yesterday, CNN pondered why the number of kids considered overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Under the headline “No child left out of the dodgeball game?,” the news outlet reported that the percentage of students who attend a daily physical education class has dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 28 percent in 2003.

Problems of health and nutrition are addressed differently across the country, and both demographics and regional tastes certainly play a role. Not to mention the pressure schools face to juggle all the things they need to do—and pay for—in a day.

How do you think health should be addressed at school? Do we need calorie counting in math class and veggie burgers for lunch or do you have another approach in mind?