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New school report cards may lead to healthier eating habits

Posted on Jan 20, 2014 by Maggie LaBarbera

As parents, we are used to getting reports and reviewing children's accomplishments in the studies of math, science, reading, history etc.  But a new pilot study conducted by Cornell University, has children bringing report cards home that grade their eating habits at school.

As part of a pilot study, 27 parents in a rural K-12 grade school district in New York state were sent weekly report cards documenting the types of food their child purchased during lunchtime.  The goal of the study was to see if this would encourage children to make healthier food choices.

The early results look promising with children appearing to modify their food choices to more healthier foods.

Here is an example of the report:


I can see the value of the report cards but only if there is parent support being provided as well.  

Here are some things to consider:

We, parents, are busy creatures with many things being balanced throughout the day.  We know, in general, that fruits and vegetables are healthy but some parents may not be sure what exactly is a balanced meal or how much a child needs.  

If children need guidance to improve their food choices, parents need to be prepared to have a supportive and positive conversation with children.  They also need to model that behavior at home.

The effort to get children to eat healthier will need to be a team effort, one that includes the foods children eat at home and at school.  Parents and school partnerships are the key to promoting healthy food choices to children in a positive manner.

If you are not sure exactly what your child needs to eat a healthy balanced meal made of foods from all 5 food groups, you can find some samples here:

Meal planning for children





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