With an estimated 30 million children in the U.S. eating school lunch daily, providing nutritious meals at schools is vital. This is emphasized by the fact that a significant number of our nation’s children consume more than half of their daily calories at school. In spite of improvements made with school lunches in recent years, most lunches still include many unnatural ingredients.
As part of its “Healthy Kids, Healthy Planet” mission, the Life Time Foundation is undertaking the goal of positively impacting children’s health and wellness through an initiative designed to inspire healthier food and increased awareness in our nation’s schools. This involves a focus on addressing ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, bleached flour, added sugar, food coloring, artificial preservatives, trans fats, antibiotics and hormones currently in the food children consume.
Burr Ridge Middle School and Anne M. Jeans Elementary of the Community Consolidated School District 180, have been selected by the Life Time Foundation to participate in the program. The Life Time Foundation will cover the cost difference between the school’s current food budget and that required of the new menu. Additionally, Life Time-The Healthy Way of Life Company (NYSE: LTM) will collaborate with school staff and parents to help kids improve their health through exercise and improved diets at home.
“We have reached a point where the physical health of an entire generation is at stake as parents are expected to outlive their children due to the rise in obesity rates,” says Life Time Foundation Director of Operations, James McGuire. “School foodservice operators already know that a nutritious school lunch program provides significant benefits to students. In fact, many have taken positive steps in the right direction. However, strained budgets and other restrictions often pose challenges that limit progress. Through the Life Time Foundation, it is our goal to work collaboratively with the forward-thinking, innovative school leaders, such as the team at Community Consolidated School District 180 to further develop a sustainable model that can be adopted by schools nationwide.”