School Lunches School Nutrition

Published on January 16th, 2012 | by Heather Carr

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Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools

School NutritionMichelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program is putting salad bars in schools. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools will put 6000 salad bars in schools across the U.S. by 2013.

Why Salad Bars?

Academic performance improves when children are well-nourished and well-fed. School children increase their intake of fruits and vegetables when given a variety of choices. Experience making choices in the school cafeteria can carry over into the rest of a kid’s life, promoting good health and reducing the chances of obesity.

Salad bars can help these goals by providing a place to serve fruits and vegetables and keeping them fresh during the lunch hours. The problem is that salad bars can be expensive to purchase and set up.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is helping to overcome the initial expense by granting 6000 schools a complete insulated salad bar with trays and utensils. So far, 1066 salad bars have been given to schools, serving 533,000 kids.

Who is Eligible for a Salad Bar?

Any K-12 school district participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. A school must be willing to commit to using the salad bar every day in school lunch.

The Food Service Director of the school district must approve the application and the application must be submitted online.

School districts approved to receive a salad bar must then wait for the salad bar to be funded. School districts are not required to fundraise in order to receive the salad bar, but it can speed the process along.

A salad bar can go a long way toward improving school nutrition.

Fruit salad photo via Shutterstock



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About the Author

Heather Carr loves food, politics, and innovative ways to make the world a better place. She counts Jacques Pepin and Speed Racer among her inspirations. You can find her on Facebook or .



  • http://www.kompulsa.com Nicholas

    I can attest that students perform better when properly nourished. I am proof of this because when I changed my diet, my grades literally doubled.

    • Heather Carr

      That’s really good to hear! Good luck with your further studies.

  • cathy

    My son’s school (K-2) added a salad bar to the front of the lunch line 3 years ago. Instead of serving overcooked vegetables, the kids get to choose fresh veggies from a salad bar, and then get a piece of fruit (usually fresh, sometimes canned) and their main dish. There’s no dessert. They do offer ranch dressing to top a salad or dip veggies in. While the main dish still leaves a lot to be desired, it’s great seeing all of these kids grab some vegetables without complaint and eat them. Some kids grab a little salad with a bit of everything. Others, like my son, go for raw carrots, celery, and cucumber. Whatever they choose, the point is that they are happy to eat their vegetables. And I have yet to hear a kid grumble about not getting a dessert! :-)

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