Batten College of Arts and Letters


M.A. Lifespan and Digital Communication

Publication Date

Spring 2020




“Eat well to grow up healthy” is the most memorable message that families transmitted to their children, but what happens with these words of wisdom when the kids have to face the world of school cafeterias? Do they have enough choices to follow these recommendations? Do they want to look for healthy food? These are some questions that can be answered through analyzing meals in school and the narrative related to it. Moreover, some strategies have been created to persuade kids to eat healthily. In the reviewed literature, a lot of sources and procedures are studied to improve choices that kids make and also the actions that school administrators apply to enhance the menus.

According to the CDS Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in its Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2019) almost 1 of 5 children are obese, and they are more likely to have it in the adulthood. Less than 1 in 10 children eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, and nearly 30 million Americans live in neighborhoods without easy access to affordable, nutritious food. Moreover, an estimated 73% of children 3-5 years old not yet in kindergarten are in a non-parental care arrangement every week.

This paper presents examples to improve this problem in our country, for example, it shows how the CDC is working with other local and national organizations to promote programs to apply healthy practices with the children, such as prevention programs in the early childcare system training them, funding, and giving technical assistance. In addition, different approaches to teach kids to eat healthily, such as competitions, pledges, and incentives. Moving to read books and finally learn about food in schools, and a lot of resources that we can follow as parents to push back on big brands and companies that are affecting the life of the kids.

Finally, my research shows that activism can be part of the solution, with an example of a chef who dedicates his life to teach and creates a program about how the knowledge about food can be incorporated in all the school environments through making it part of the learning skills that the kids get from school.


Healthy diet, Children, Schools, School cafeterias, CDC


Communication | Family, Life Course, and Society | Food Studies | Health and Physical Education



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Healthy Foods in Schools: Communicating With Children