Kids Will Eat Healthy School Lunches

by Diane Lofshult on Mar 01, 2008

Food for Thought

The conventional wisdom is that most children will snub their noses at healthy foods, especially nutritional school lunches. Yet this wisdom is being challenged by the results of a new study in the Winter 2007 issue of the Review of Agricultural Economics.

Researchers analyzed 5 years of data for 30 Minnesota public school districts to determine whether schools were complying with federal standards for calories, nutrients and fat and to offer suggestions for improvements. After crunching the numbers, the investigators found that lunch sales were just as high in the schools that served the healthiest meals as in those that did not. While labor costs were higher for the better meals, fruits and vegetables were less expensive than processed foods, thus offsetting the preparation costs.

“This study finds, contrary to widely held views, that lunch sales do not decline when healthier meals with less fat, for example, are served and that more nutritious lunches do not necessarily cost more,” the researchers concluded. They also suggested that many districts need to upgrade their kitchens and train staff to prepare healthier school lunches.

Fitness Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3

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About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at