Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is growing among school-age children, thanks in part to the rising number of salad bars in school cafeterias.
A recent study of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) campaign found that salad bars increased students’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables, increased student participation in the school lunch program, reduced plate waste and are complemented by other health promotion activities in school.
The aim of LMSB2S is to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption by donating salad bars to schools across the country in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.
More than 3,400 salad bars have been donated to 1,097 school districts across the country since the initiative launched in 2010.
“School salad bars are gaining momentum from coast-to-coast,” said Ann Cooper, founder of the Food Family Farming Foundation. “It’s gratifying to see kids, teachers and parents getting excited about fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Salad bars are also one of the easiest ways for schools to comply with new federal nutrition standards for school lunch, which require that students be offered fruits and vegetables daily and that students select at least a one half cup serving of vegetable or fruit with their meal.
In the spring of 2013, LMSB2S partnered with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, an independent research institution, to complete a post-implementation survey of school districts that received salad bars from LMSB2S. Three hundred fifty-seven school districts in 46 states responded to the survey.
Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to increase salad bars in schools so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school.