PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ARAMARK, a food and nutrition partner with over 500 school districts throughout the country, is celebrating National School Lunch Week (NSLW), October 14-18, by encouraging students to try new fruits, vegetables and proteins though its Healthy Bites sampling program. Sponsored by the School Nutrition Association, National School Lunch Week is designed to generate awareness of the benefits of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National School Lunch Program. Through ARAMARK's Healthy Bites sampling program, students are trying a variety of nutrient dense meal items that they may not find at home.
"We were encouraged to learn through our proprietary research that 37% of students tried fruits and veggies at school that they have never had before," said Linda Sceurman, R.D. and Director of Nutrition and Menu Development for ARAMARK Education. "By encouraging students to sample new foods, we can support the development of well balanced eating habits while expanding taste preferences."
According to USDA research, children who participate in the National School Lunch Program have superior nutritional intake compared to those who bring lunch from home or otherwise do not participate in the program.
This year's NSLW theme, "School Lunch Across the USA," celebrates the flavors, ingredients, and cultures of various regions across the U.S. To encourage students to try new food items, the Healthy Bites sampling program spotlights healthy foods including regional favorites. Sampling items include:
- Bean Quesadillas, Fajitas and Burritos on Whole Grain-Rich Tortillas
- Fresh Tomato Wedges
- Refried, Baked or Pinto Beans
- Tangy Natural Applesauce
- Italian Meatballs
- Fresh Corn on the Cob
- Beef Enchilada
- Roast Turkey Breast
- Seasoned Green Beans
- Fish Sandwich on a Whole Grain Bun
- Sliced Cucumbers
- Spicy Popcorn Chicken with Whole Grain Breading
- Baja Chicken Salad with High Fiber Legumes
- Steamed Carrots
ARAMARK is committed to improving childhood nutrition and creating healthier school environments through nutritious meal offerings and wellness education. To learn more, please visit www.myhealthyforlife.com.
ARAMARK delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives through innovative food, facility, and uniform services. United by a passion to serve, our more than 250,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people around the world. ARAMARK is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.