Cincinnati Serves up Healthy School Meals at the Salad Bar

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Cincinnati Serves up Healthy School Meals at the Salad Bar

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Students don't need to be told to eat their veggies in Cincinnati. There are salad bars in every public school and the students are actually using them.

Faced with a growing childhood obesity epidemic, Ohio established nutrition standards for all of their school meals and snacks in 2010. In Cincinnati, the school food service director Jessica Shelly worked to get salad bars in every public school.

Shelly believed that students would choose to eat healthier meals when offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. She was right. Since serving healthy breakfasts and lunches in their cafeterias, the number of students who bought school meals increased, turning the school meal program's budget deficit into a sizable surplus.

Nutritious meals aren't just beneficial for school budgets; they're also better for academics. Since serving healthier meals in Cincinnati, test scores have increased. Across the country, schools are making big changes in their cafeterias as a result of USDA's updated nutrition standards for school foods. Learn how other schools are keeping kids healthy.

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