MAYWOOD, Ill. – Fresh fruits and vegetables will grace the plates of more young people this fall thanks to new federal guidelines, which require students to select at least one vegetable or fruit per lunch. The U. S. Department of Agriculture guidelines also require dark green, orange or red vegetables and legumes to be served at least once a week.
To help meet these guidelines, community outreach nurse Ann Andreoni, DNP, RN, CPNP, recently received an Action for Healthy Kids grant to fund the installation of salad bars at four of the 10 schools in District 89, which covers Maywood and parts of Melrose Park and Broadview. Dr. Andreoni will seek additional funding for the remaining six schools after the pilot program is implemented.
Action for Healthy Kids is a program that works with schools, families and communities to help children live healthier lives. More than 500 schools were awarded funds along with management expertise and support to develop strong nutrition programs around school breakfasts, summer meals, access to healthy foods and nutrition education. This funding also will help the district meet the requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which strives to improve nutrition for children.
“I am pleased that we will be able to make it easier for these schools to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to their students,” said Dr. Andreoni, who also is a pediatric nurse practitioner and an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). “This grant will allow us to improve the quality of food our children eat in school, making them more equipped to excel in the classroom.”