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New Study Proves Kids Like Eating Healthy Food
Date:11/18/2009

ho has also trained a willing kitchen staff in his techniques, who regularly test the palatability of new dishes with their students as they would guests in a restaurant.

As the final step in the rollout of the Initiative, the Healthy Lunch Study analyzed the results of this innovative program. The study compared Boston middle schools receiving the district's traditional school lunch with the middle schools participating in the Chefs in Schools Initiative who received the healthy lunch. Results were collected from 3,188 trays and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health stated their preliminary findings as significant:

  • Over three times as many students ate the vegetables at the Chefs schools as compared with the control schools.
  • Among students who ate vegetables, students at the Chefs schools ate on average about 30% more of their vegetables.
  • When only 1% white milk was served instead of chocolate milk, students still drank the same amount of milk.
  • Meals had over 50% more whole grains at the Chefs schools compared with the control schools.
  • Food waste was significantly reduced in Chefs schools. The study revealed that while 1/3 of the food from traditional lunches was thrown out uneaten in the control schools, only 1/5 of the food was uneaten in the Chefs schools.
  • Participation in the school lunch program was 17% higher in the Chefs schools, meaning that more students ate lunch that was federally reimbursed.

Preliminary findings of the Healthy Lunch Study concludes that serving flavorful, appealing school meals can improve student nutrition while increasing school lunch participation -- a factor that's also important both for cash-strapped school districts. The program has been so successful that the Chefs in Schools Initiative is expanding into eight Boston Public Schools -- including a high school where graduates from the Lilla Frederick and the Umana Academy organized
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SOURCE Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger
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