Working out healthy meals for school children can be a challenge, which is why parents are now looking forward to getting text messages from the school dietician about school menus, food choices and tips for improving eating habits.
Shannon FitzGerald is the food service supervisor for Abon lake City Schools. “This is an idea that has been brewing for some time,” she said. “Then I read a research article out of the University of Maryland that correlated healthy behavior change with text messages. I took this research and put my school dietitian slant and experience to it and came up with a concept that would promote school meals, offer nutrition/healthy living education thus fulfilling a school wellness policy requirement as mandated in Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act and communicate healthy happenings at schools.”
Parents “opt in” for the messages by sending an email or other communication. The emails are not sent without parents opting in.
“I send out about one to two each week,” said FitzGerald. “The type of texts sent will include items such as tips for overall good nutrition, healthy living, school happenings and school meal promotion. I am limited to 160 characters. This is great as the research shows just getting one main idea across is the goal.”