Thousand Oaks Food RevolutionThu 08 Sep 2011
Story by Parents for a Healthy School Lunch
Our Food Revolution Group sprouted out of another local group, Parents for Healthy School Lunch whose mission is to promote a healthy school environment for the children of the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD). When the New England Journal of Medicine article stated that due to the rise in adult and childhood obesity, unless we make changes at home and at school, our children will possibly not live as long as their parents, we took this message to heart and decided to act.
What started out as a few concerned parents has grown and expanded to include parents at 12 different schools within the district, and our numbers are growing.
So far we have met with members of the school district including the Directors of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Superintendent, and the Child Nutrition department and we are currently in discussions regarding healthy changes for school lunches, school policies and increasing nutrition education.
In addition to our Thousand Oaks Food Revolution group we also have a website which links in with our Food Revolution group and contains important information for parents about child obesity, fresh vs. processed lunches, food label information, flavored milk vs. regular milk, junk food on school campuses, birthday parties on campus, etc.
We recently presented at a school board meeting and an article was written about our school board appearance in the local Thousand Oaks Acorn newspaper. We also spoke with our Directors of Education on the Elementary and Secondary levels, and both directors have agreed to speak to their respective principals about the issues of candy and parties involving sweets and already we are seeing some positive changes.
In our efforts to improve school food we have started 10 different petitions for parents to sign regarding the various issues we have on CVUSD school campuses, these include; water hydration stations; replacing sugary drinks with non-sugar alternatives; no junk food on campus; fresh instead of processed lunches; no candy as reward; non food birthday celebrations and nutrition education for all CVUSD students K-12.
Our hope is that with these signatures we can present to our school board in order to update our Health and Wellness Policy so that these changes can become policy rather than just recommendations. To see our petitions click here. We have also joined forces with a local group, A Lean Ventura County, whose mission is to promote community activities, policies and environmental changes that foster healthy eating and regular physical activity to counter obesity and its related chronic diseases.
Programs like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution have inspired people (like us) to stand up for our children’s rights to have healthy school lunches and a healthy school environment. Together we can make a difference in the health and well being of our children!
About the author: Parents for a Healthy School Lunch are a group of concerned parents in the Conejo Valley Unified School District, they have founded both the Thousand Oaks Food Revolution community group & Parents for a Healthy School Lunch website in order to work together with their community & improve the food served in their children’s schools.
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