SFPC's Youth Nutrition & School Food Initiatives
The Springfield Food Policy Council has been a longtime advocate of healthy foods in city schools. In addition to healthy options, schools now serve breakfast before the bell, and the Culinary and Nutrition Center provides the prep space for healthy student meals, as well as education around healthy food and preparation.
According to the United States CDC, healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and to prevent various health conditions. Places like Springfield are considered "food deserts," or places (largely in cities) where it is difficult to buy affordable, healthy, or fresh produce.
Schools are in a unique position to provide students with opportunities to learn about and practice healthy eating behaviors. Enabling schools to provide healthy lunch options, as well as breakfast before the bell, has been shown to benefit students' health, attention span, and academic performance. According to the CDC:
Youth nutrition is an ongoing part of SFPC's mission - check back here for new initiatives!
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people aged 2 years or older follow a healthy eating pattern that includes the following: