Principal lauds results in veggie-only school - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Principal lauds results in veggie-only school

Posted: Updated:

(RNN) - At a time of year when people are considering dietary changes, one school's change seems to have reaped dividends for students.

Principal Bob Groff said since Active Learning Elementary School, or P.S. 244, in Flushing, NY, started serving vegetarian fare for breakfast and lunch earlier this year, student health has shown an all-around improvement.

The percentage of students classified as obese and overweight dropped by 2 percent in one semester, it was reported in WNYC.

Goff also said the students' focus is improved and their energy levels are more balanced, without the after-lunch crash common before the dietary change.

The school is one of the first in the nation to go veggie-only.

The shift to an all-vegetarian lunch menu took place gradually with the help of the New York Coalition for Healthy School and the NYC Office of SchoolFood, according to CNN.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has recognized the school's nutritional achievement with its Golden Carrot award.

The school, which includes grades pre-kindergarten through third, supplements its vegetarian diet with a weekly health and nutrition class, food tastings, yoga after school and assistance for families to create healthier meals at home.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "Vegetarian children often eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber, and less fat and cholesterol. This may reduce risk of chronic disease and weight-related illness."

When schools adopt healthful nutrition policies and practices, children's overall diets improve. That's according to new research led by Michigan State University and published in Childhood Obesity.

"When healthful food options are offered, students will select them, eat them and improve their diet," said Katherine Alaimo, MSU associate professor of food, science and human nutrition. "Our study shows that schools can make the kinds of changes required by the forthcoming USDA guidelines, and these changes can have a positive impact on children's nutrition."

Schools nationwide are working to provide their students with better food - like Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA. According to foodtank.org, its menu is loaded with fresh vegetables produced in the student-cultivated garden. The students involved in caring for the garden are not only providing healthier lunch options for their classmates, but they are also conserving energy.

Those who want to embrace a vegetarian lifestyle for themselves and their children have a number of online resources at their disposal, including those available at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow