With a new school year fast approaching, I’m busy checking off school supply lists, meeting new teachers, and ensuring my kids have everything they need for a successful academic year. I love the fresh start that a new school year brings. To me, the start of a new academic year is honestly more refreshing than ringing in the New Year itself! After a hectic summer of balancing work and motherhood and trying to cram in some summer fun, I’m ready for a chance to re-evaluate our family schedules and create a new rhythm.
Before I had children, I vowed I’d never “allow” my future kids to be picky eaters. I swore I would raise my kids to eat whatever I prepared, and I promised I’d never fall into the trap of becoming a short-order cook for my family. Fast forward a few years, and I find myself carefully choosing our weekly menus based on which meals will be least likely to cause a fight over our plates at the dinner table. How did this happen?
Well, it turns out kids have opinions! Funny, huh? Our children have preferences and aversions — just as adults do!
Instead of trying to fight these feelings any longer, I employed the “two of three” rule. As a general rule of thumb, I offer my children two foods I know they will eat and one food that might be something new or something they have previously disliked. These three foods — typically a protein, starch, and a vegetable, are presented on the same plate, and as I put the plate on the table I explain what they’ll be eating. Sometimes I am met with expressions of joy, and sometimes with exasperated sighs. My kids know they are expected to eat two of the three foods on their plate.
Giving the power of CHOICE to our children encourages them to explore new foods, and because they don’t feel pressured to finish the whole plate of new food, they are more likely to try it! This method has changed the way I parent, it has changed the way I prepare meals, and it has actually (seriously) contributed to my son’s newfound love of BROCCOLI. #MyNewGoal for the school year is to employ the “two of three” rule at more mealtimes and in lunch boxes, too!
When it comes to encouraging kids to explore new, healthier foods, school meals pose a great opportunity to do just that. One organization that is reinforcing healthy habits in the school cafeteria and right here in our community is Revolution Foods, a company whose mission is to build lifelong healthy eaters. This company understands the importance of food choice and ensuring our children have a balanced diet made up of healthy choices.
Revolution Foods designs, produces, and delivers great-tasting, healthy food that is kid-inspired and chef-crafted to 2,500 sites nationwide, including early childhood education centers, districts, charters, and community and afterschool youth programs. The company engages with kids at every step of the development process to create meals they love, complete with fresh local produce, high-quality proteins, rBST-free dairy products, and no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. These well-balanced meals are chef-crafted, culturally and regionally relevant, and they exceed nutrition guidelines.
Similar to my “two of three” rule, it is so important to offer nutrient-dense foods that kids will still enjoy and get excited about eating. Revolution Foods also partners with local, regional, and national vendors to source high-quality ingredients that meet their clean label standards, so parents can trust that what their kids are eating is good for them through and through.
We are excited to share that over 84 campuses in our own backyard of Boston have been serviced by Revolution Foods, providing 5.3 million meals to our local youth and ensuring that our children are not only properly nourished, but also excited about the food they are eating and prepared to thrive academically! Revolution Foods believes, and studies show, proper nutrition and healthy food can drive positive academic outcomes and help children achieve their true potential. In a survey distributed to 1,800 students and parents, the company found that an overwhelming majority of parents (88%) and students (66%) felt that healthier school meals would help them do better in school.
Revolution Foods is continuing its work here in Boston. They recently expanded capacity at a new culinary center in Newmarket Square to streamline operations, enabling a wider selection of fresh local and regional produce, high-quality proteins, and rBST-free dairy products, and they’ve created over 80 new jobs in the Boston community. They also partner with local community organizations, such as Food Corps, to develop nutrition education programs in schools, including monthly vegetable tastings for students and families, which is such a great way to get kids involved even more in building those healthy habits. We are proud to partner with Revolution Foods to share the important work they are doing, and we are so glad to have them right here in our city!