New York City unveils plan to improve food education across public schools

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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
NYC unveils plan to improve food education
The plan aims to teach kids about healthy eating and give them healthy and culturally appropriate options. Janice Yu reports.

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City officials unveiled a new food education roadmap on Tuesday at a school on the Upper West Side to change students' outlook on food through education.

"Food must look good, it must be good and it must taste good," said Mayor Eric Adams.

With nearly 40% of students in city public schools overweight or obese, the plan aims to teach kids about healthy eating and give them healthy and culturally appropriate options in the cafeterias.

Officials identified three goals for improving food education across all New York City public schools:

- Helping students build knowledge about healthy eating and wellness

-Providing greater access to healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate meals in schools

-Empowering members of school communities, including parents, educators, food service workers, and administrators, to be wellness ambassadors

It's a cause the mayor knows personally as he has shared his history with type 2 diabetes.

"I know the power of healthy eating firsthand: Switching to a plant-based diet reversed the effects of my type 2 diabetes and saved my eyesight," Adams said. "With this roadmap, we're going to teach our children how to eat better - building healthier schools, healthier communities, and a healthier city for all New Yorkers."

The city and public school system hope the impacts of the new program extend beyond the halls of the schools and that it will trickle into the lives of others around students.

"If you want to shift this process of an unhealthy populous, it has to start at the youngest ages," Chancellor David Banks said. "It can transform their lives and it will transform generations."

The roadmap also includes improving cafeterias and kitchens at schools throughout the city.

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