The following list of guiding principles of Parents for Better D.C. School Food represents the fondest wishes of its members. We are neither a scientific panel, nor a legislative body, but rather adults concerned about the welfare of all children in the District of Columbia, and especially about foods they eat and the role of school food services in children's health and well-being.
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We believe that all children are entitled to be served healthful, nutritious meals while attending public school.
We believe that processed school foods should be replaced with foods made from whole, unprocessed ingredients, preferably from local, sustainable sources.
We believe school meals should be made from scratch whenever possible.
We believe that added sugars should be avoided.
We believe children should not be exposed to high-fructose corn syrup.
We believe children should not be served trans-fats or hydrogenated oils.
We believe that Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, such as those from corn, soybean and cottonseed oil, should be largely replaced with healthful mono-unsaturated fats, such as those from olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and avocado, and that children should consume more Omega-3 fats.
We believe that calories in school breakfasts should be derived primarily from healthy fats and proteins--including milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy--and fresh fruit, and only secondarily from starchy carbohydrates.
We believe that cereals should contain no more than 4 grams of sugar per ¾-cup--or 1-ounce-- serving, whichever is less.
We believe that children should have more vegetarian options, and that school meals should be meatless at least one day each week.
We believe that grain products served in schools should be primarily whole grain.
We believe that school cafeterias should be equipped with salad bars offering an array of fresh greens, vegetables, proteins and freshly-made dressings.
We believe that packaged foods should be replaced with unpackaged foods.
We believe that flavored milks should be served only occasionally, if at all.
We believe that all school milk should be free of antibiotics and non-therapeutic hormones.
We believe fruit juices should be served only occasionally, and should otherwise be replaced with whole fruits.
We believe children should be encouraged to drink water with their meals.
We believe students should have a minimum 30 minutes in which to eat their meals.
We believe ingredients for all foods served in D.C. schools should be posted on the internet and in other places where they can be easily accessed by the public.
We believe that school cafeterias should be open environments where parents can join their children and encourage healthful eating habits.
10 months ago