A new survey shows Kentucky parents think school lunches aren’t as nutritious as they should be. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky's statewide report says eighty-eight percent of parents surveyed said schools should serve healthy food, but only one in four thought that’s what their children got.
Murray State University nursing professor Dr. Dana Manley has researched child health in western Kentucky. Manley says schools are making an effort to provide healthy meal choices, but schools can’t force kids to eat well.
“These efforts have to be collective. Schools can’t be ultimately responsible for the healthy and well being of our children," said Manley. "I think it’s a community effort, and it really does start at home, so getting the education to families who have children about what healthy, nutritious foods are and how we can incorporate those into our child’s diet, is essential."
The National Survey of Children’s Health estimates that 37 percent of Kentucky children ages 10 to 17 are obese. Manley says health educators should put extra attention on young children to build a good health foundation early.