Friday, June 8, 2012
Do You Have Plans to Connect with Kids Come September?
If you have children in your household, there’s a very good chance they watch the show Phineas & Ferb. The opening lyrics from its theme song— “There’s 104 days of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it…”—are repeating in my head this morning (Hear it HERE.)
That’s because for the Berry household, today is day one! Most kids, including mine, have less than 104 days before they return to what will likely be a changed lunch landscape in schools—public and private—across the country. Some changes are required by law, while others are being made voluntarily. All are in an effort to improve the nutritional profile of the foods and beverages made available to students from elementary school age to Ph.D. candidates.
Most public elementary school districts welcome the dairies that supply milk and other products to “connect with the students” via nutrition education materials and other health-related promotions. If you currently have such an outreach program in place, please share as a comment on this blog so that others may learn from your great ideas. After all, most of us are in the dairy industry because of our passion for the wholesome nutrition dairy products provide, from the quality protein in cheese to the essential fatty acids and calcium in ice cream to the powerhouse of nutrients packed into a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt.
Here’s an interesting approach to better reach students in middle school and higher grades. Get your healthful dairy products into the new generation of vending machines, such as those offered by Fresh Healthy Vending (pictured.) The company now has more than 1,500 of their healthy vending machines placed in various locations throughout the country and in Canada. Each of the machines is completely stocked with all-healthy foods and beverages. The company also recently launched their Fresh Healthy Vending Cafe, a machine that, in addition to healthy snacks and beverages, offers freshly ground and brewed organic coffee (with or without milk) within seconds. Each unit also gives vending machines a make-over by offering a fresh look with vibrant colors, and is dual climate controlled to offer both cold and warm foods. The vending machines are stocked with such items as smoothies, coffee-milk drinks, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of other nutritious options. (For more information, visit http://www.freshvending.com/.)
The countdown begins for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Make sure your dairy products comply with regulations, appeal to the taste buds of students and are actively promoted as a source of quality nutrition—starting at breakfast and going all the way to refueling after the big game.