Still thinking about making some new year’s resolutions? It’s not too late to kick off 2014 with a healthy start!

Here are some ideas for healthy new year’s resolutions:

–  Incorporate more whole grains into your weekly meals.
According to the Whole Grain Council, studies have shown that the consumption of whole grains may reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and help with maintaining a healthy weight.

– Commit to eating one more fruit or vegetable EVERY day.
Join America’s More Matters Pledge to Fight Obesity.  Besides being delicious and colorful additions to your plate,  fruits and vegetables provide your body with necessary dietary fibers that support a healthy digestive system, are packed with vitamins and minerals and can help your body reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

– Do something active for 30 minutes each day!
Whether it’s going for a walk or playing basketball, aim to get out there once a day!  For some ideas check out the Obesity Action Coalition’s Winter Fitness Fun Guide.

-Reduce your daily sugar intake.
Here’s an educational video that was shared on the Mother Nature Network about the effects of sugar on your brain.

What healthy habit are you committing to in 2014?


Klaus Pichler’s photography series “One Third” portrays food in advanced stages of decay.  The series is a commentary on the gross amount of food wasted worldwide – according to 2011 UN estimates, approximately one-third of the world’s food supply is thrown out.  Of course, the developed world is the main culprit here, wasting up to 10 times more food annually than developing countries according to a recent NPR article

Pichler, playing on notions of consumer culture, photographs the decaying food as you might a high-end piece of jewlery or car.  See the entire series HERE.

Food waste is, of course, a major concern for schools districts across the country, especially as we increase the amount and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables offered on our lunch trays.  We count on broad-based community support and education in classrooms, at home, and in the cafeteria to combat this issue and encourage students to take full advantage of the nutrients on their plates. 

Check out the latest commercial from director Dougal Wilson below.  Though it’s intended to advertise Lurpack Lightest, a low-fat Danish butter, the commercial functions as a catchy and colorful tribute to eating your vegetables.

An excellent article in the Boston Globe Magazine this weekend looks what really goes into school lunch in Boston.  Click HERE to read the full story online.

Fox 25 Morning News interviewed Francis Storrs, the Assistant Editor at the Boston Globe Magazine, about the story on Monday.  Watch the video HERE!


Attention BPS Parents! 

Back to School means it is once again time to fill out the Boston Public Schools Meal Application.  Applications are used to determine eligibility for free and/or reduced price school meals. 

Applications, information, and instructions are available here in 8 different languages or from your school Cafeteria Manager or Attendant.  Applications are also available in 26 different languages from the USDA website.

School Meal Prices:

Breakfast: full price: $1.50 / reduced price $0.30 / free price: $0.00

Elementary Lunch: full price: $2.25 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

Middle and High School Lunch: full price $2.50 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

The Application Process:

  • All Parents, regardless of income, should complete a School Meal Application.
  • Meal Applications must be completed on an annual basis, which means even if you completed an application for your child last year, you must complete a new application this year.
  • By law, students may eat using their last year’s status for the first 30 operational days of school (October 20, 2011), or until a new application is submitted and processed.  After October 20th, if a new application has not been submitted, the student status will change to “Paid,” and she/he will have to pay for meals.   

Important Information about School Meal Applications:

  • Only ONE “Family Application for Meal Benefits” application for all children in your household is required.
  • Children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP or TAFDC are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of household  income.  Please indicate your SNAP or TAFDC status on the Meal Application form. 
  • Any Foster Child in a household is automatically eligible for free meals, regardless of household income.  Please indicate your child’s foster care status on the Meal Application form.    
  • You may fill out a Meal Application at any time during the school year.  If your income changes or you lose your job, please fill out another application – your child may become eligible for free meals!
  • School Meal Applications are completely confidential.
  • New federal guidelines require only the last 4 digits of your social security number for the School Meal Application.  If you do not have a social security number, or you and/or your children are not US citizens, you should still fill out a School Meal Application – your children can be eligible for free and reduced price school meals regardless.    

Why Complete a Meal Application?

Meal Applications, in addition to facilitating free meals for children from low-income families, provide a myriad of benefits to children, schools, and communities:

  • Students perform better academically when they have eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch.
  • Schools qualify for funding from Title I and eRate when students who qualify for free and reduced cost meals complete applications.
  • Schools receive state funding based on information in the School Meal Applications.  This includes money for books, classroom furniture, school supplies, educational resources, and grant programs such as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
  • Students can qualify for reduced price AP (Advanced Placement) and SAT testing.
  • Students can qualify for free after school programs.
  • Teachers may have their student loans waived if the work for a high free and reduced school. 


Contact the Department of Food and Nutrition Services at 617-635-9144, 6371, or 6372.

Check out this video of lunch cheerleaders from Improv Everywhere:

Beyonce Knowles officially joined Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign on Wednesday with the release of her music/exercise video, “Move Your Body”.

She throws her towel in the ring in the fight against childhood obesity following the likes of Ellen Degeneres and Jamie Oliver – celebrities who have also used their star power and influence to bring light to this important issue. The video takes place in a busy school cafeteria cum dance floor. Beyonce sings flanked by student backup dancers. The “move your body” message and school lunch atmosphere effectively show the dual importance of physical activity and a healthy diet in combating obesity.

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