A Move for a Healthy School
When it comes to primary school children, their safety and health is always a major concern for parents. Schools take extra care in making sure that the environment in which children grow is a healthy and secure one. Everything from the colors affecting the children's mental processes to the choice of materials in order to make them child friendly is taken into account. But one school in New York, in the move for a healthier school, goes one step farther and achieves dramatically positive results.
What the school, P.S. 244, did was a simple idea that none of us had ever even given any thought to. They changed their lunch program to a completely vegetarian diet. The city offered much better vegetarian choices in comparison to those with meat, which is why the school decided to make this switch.
New Lunch Items:
As soon as this program was announced, it saw immediate success among a huge majority of the children. The conventional lunch items were switched with vegetarian counterparts like falafel, organic tofu that was roasted, and braised beans etc.
The Reason for Such a Success:
For the most part, it is being thought that the children's roots are what caused such a positive reaction to vegan food. Most of the children, almost 70 percent, of the school have Asian or Indian backgrounds, which are cultures that have an affinity with vegetarian food. This must have played a role in the smooth transition to a vegetarian cafeteria for the children.
Positive Outcomes for the Children:
P.S. 244's move towards a healthy school really did pay off when an overall increase was seen in the students' energy levels and attendance. Many students were seen with improved attention spans and a 2 percent drop was noted among those children that were classified as obese, after just one semester of this transition.
The school goes even a step beyond by providing fully planned nutrition classes to the children so that they can learn to make better choices in the future.
Advantages of a Vegetarian Diet:
We've all heard our parents tell us to 'eat our greens', and for good reason. Vegetarian food provides children with all the nourishment that is required minus the cholesterol of meat and dairy. They grow up to be healthier and fitter, having the same amount of vitamins and proteins that they would gain with meats.
A vegetarian is known to reduce chances of health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. It also helps defends from some sorts of cancer.
Taking into account the massive popularity that this program has achieved, other schools are being encouraged to do the same. I mean who thought that a child would ever say no to bringing their favorite lunch bag from home and rather insist on having a vegetarian diet?
Principal Robert Groff is hopeful that the number of obese students will continue to drop every year until all of the students are living a healthier, fitter life. This decision by the school is quite revolutionary and this simple move towards a school that is healthier may just be changing how we perceive our children's lunch cafeterias.