Parents Take A Peek Inside The Cafeteria

A great way for parents to learn about their child’s school nutrition program firsthand, National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day started in 2011 by Kiwi Magazine together with School Nutrition Association. Typically during National School Lunch Week in October, schools invite parents to eat lunch with their children and see what has changed over the years.  


In 2012, new USDA school nutrition guidelines began being implemented, prompting many updates in an already changing school lunchroom landscape. While some parents are aware of current school meal requirements, National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day allows them to step into their child’s cafeteria and see the difference themselves. This open cafeteria experience helps dispel myths and lets parents see the variety and choices offered to their students. Schools must offer more fruit, vegetables and whole grains; and limit sodium, calories and unhealthy fats in every school meal.

At many schools around the country, parents will have access to school nutrition staff to learn more about school meal processes and experience school lunch from a student’s perspective. Get more information at

Kiwi suggests some ways parents can learn about school meals from their child’s food service professionals.

Questions Parents Can Ask School Nutrition Staff:

  1. How do you develop the menus?
  2. How have your menus changed in recent years to meet the USDA guidelines?
  3. How are the lunches at our school funded?
  4. What’s the difference between the main items in the lunch line and the extra things kids can buy?
  5. How can we support your efforts to get students to try the healthier food choices?

Questions Parents Can Ask Their Children:

  1. What’s your favorite lunch to get at school?
  2. How do you choose what you eat in the cafeteria?
  3. Are there things available for lunch at school that you want me to try making at home?
  4. Is there anything you’d like to eat when you’re in school that you don’t see in the cafeteria?
  5. Do you eat what’s on your tray?
  6. Are you full after your lunch?
  7. Do you have enough time to eat?


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