It’s no secret that junk food is a staple in most school canteens. But what if there were healthier alternatives? According to a recent study, the majority of schools offer junk food as the only option for students. This is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic and needs to change. In this blog post, we will discuss some healthier junk food alternatives that schools can offer in their canteens! These alternatives are very popular in the residential schools in India, where caretakers are consistently putting their best efforts for the health of their students.
Introduce healthier food options in school canteens
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health issues facing our country today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
One of the contributing factors to this alarming trend is the easy availability of junk food. In school cafeterias there are vending machines and even during after-school activities, kids have constant access to high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks and meals.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of schools that are taking steps to provide healthier options for their students. From banning sugary drinks to offering more fruits and vegetables, these schools are helping combat childhood obesity and promoting better eating habits.
The alternatives to junk food in school canteens are not only healthier for students, but they can also be more affordable. By providing healthier options, schools can help promote better health and overall well-being of the children.
How do parents and students help make this change?
One way parents and students can help make this change is by making their voices heard. If you’re a parent, talk to your child’s school about the options they have in the canteen and what changes you’d like to see. If you’re a student, speak to your classmates about what kind of foods they would like to see in the canteen, and start a petition if necessary.
Another way to help make this change is by donating healthy food to your local school canteen. This could be anything from fruit and vegetables to low-sugar snacks. By doing this, you’ll be helping to provide healthier options for students and making the canteen a more enjoyable place for everyone.
Examples of few healthier alternatives to traditional junk food snacks
Junk food is often high in sugar, fat and calories, which can lead to weight gain and poor health. However, there are some healthier alternatives available that can be just as tasty. Here are some junk food alternatives that should be available in school canteens:
- Fruit and veggie sticks: These are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They can be served with dips such as hummus or tzatziki for extra flavour.
- Whole grain bread: This is a healthier option than white bread as it contains more fibre and vitamins. It can be used for making sandwiches or toasties.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. It can be eaten on its own or eaten with the veggies or even used as a topping for fruit or granola.
- Nuts and seeds: These are a healthy source of fats, proteins and vitamins. They can be added to snacks or eaten on their own to satisfy the in-between hunger pangs.
Explain why these alternatives are better for students’ health and well-being
Most of the times, when the students makes the choice of what to eat and what not to eat at the school, parents are not present with them. Hence it is important to make the children realise for themselves the impact on their health by the choice of foods they make. One very effective way for tiny tots is to educate them by assigning minus points their health makes by consuming the junk and plus points their health makes by consuming healthy. For example, if they eat white bread the health is -2 and if they whole grain bread it’s +2. By doing this, every time they make a choice, their mind will start doing the maths and they will make the right decision.
Another way is to educate and especially the grown-ups is the nutritional value of every food type. If you want to learn more about the best ways of educating, you can opt for the best boarding school in India as they understand your child’s health needs. It is important to remember that healthy eating habits start from a young age. By providing healthier options in school canteens, we can help to encourage students to make better food choices that will benefit their health in the long term.
Provide a few recipes for healthy junk food snacks that can be served in school canteens
When it comes to snacks, there are plenty of healthier alternatives to the usual junk food that’s often served in school canteens. Here are a few recipes for healthy junk food snacks that can be served in school canteens to satisfy child’s desire for some tasty but yet healthy junk:
- Veggie sticks – carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks or any other type of veggie sticks are a good alternative to the wafers that contain unhealthy oils having saturated fats.
- Nutella Sandwich – Nutella is a good alternate to the regular sweet chocolates. Just spread the Nutella over fresh whole grain bread and here is an easy and quick sandwich to have.
- Watermelon and cheese salad – Children love cheese and cheese can be healthy when consumed unprocessed. Add the unprocessed cheese cubes (not the processed cheese slices) cut in small sizes to freshly cut watermelon. Add some lemon, salt and black pepper.
- Popcorn – popcorn is a whole grain food that’s low in calories and high in fiber. Add some flavor to plain popcorn by sprinkling on some sea salt, herbs or spices such as oregano and chilli flakes.
With a little creativity, it’s easy to come up with healthy as well as delicious food alternatives that are perfect for school canteens. By offering healthier options, we can help encourage students to make better choices and have a wholesome development of mind and body. What are your thoughts on junk food alternatives in school canteens? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!