Chartwells School Dining Services is in full swing celebrating National Nutrition Month® (NNM) during the month of March. Chartwells, a major provider of dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools nationwide, is showing its commitment to building strong bodies and sharp minds and establishing the framework for a long, healthier life with its various NNM activities. NNM is a nutrition education and information campaign conducted annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Their campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The March 2012 NNM theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape" which reinforces the key messages of MyPlate, the USDA's icon that supports the dietary recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and serves as a less complex visual reminder to make healthier food choices. Chartwells' school locations are celebrating NNM nationwide with MyPlate themed activities and food promotions. As a USDA National Strategic Partner, this theme provides Chartwells an opportunity to continue to provide nutrition information to students by combining nutritious, popular menu choices with education programs that promote healthy eating.
During March, elementary schools will conduct a "fruit and vegetable challenge" that will appeal to this specific age group and encourage students to try healthy fruits and vegetables in the spirit of competition. The key goal of the Chartwells NNM promotion is to 'get your plate in shape' by reshaping the way students put together meals, starting with fruits and vegetables, then adding some grains and finishing with lean protein and low-fat dairy.
In secondary schools, students are learning how smart snack choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy can make a positive contribution to their diets. They will sample healthy snacks such as mini yogurt parfaits, hummus dip, and trail mix. Throughout the month, schools will also feature a variety of cold and hot Healthy Salad Bowl entrees on their menus as part of complete MyPlate meals, each designed to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, include whole grain and lean protein, and offered with flavorful homemade dressings.
Chartwells believes there are many simple changes that can be made to support healthy eating efforts and everyone can benefit from these simple changes to improve what children eat. Healthy eating requires planning so Chartwells' NNM activities will help students become more conscious about what they are eating.