Everything your child eats and drinks matters. The right mix of nutritional foods not only helps children perform well in school, it can lead to a lifetime of better health. Spencer Taylor from Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Department of Nutrition Services joined us on a recent episode of Community Health Matters to discuss student nutrition. View his segment here.

Getting a child to eat healthy foods can be a challenge, but studies show a proper diet makes a world of difference. Well-nourished students are proven to have higher test scores, increased school attendance, and improved concentration and classroom behavior. Additionally, students who are physically fit sleep better and are more equipped to handle the physical and emotional challenges they may encounter during the day.

That’s why Metro Schools’ Nutrition Services works diligently to plan menus consistent with the New Meal Pattern established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for all Americans. These meals include foods that are low in fat, calories and sugars, and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains.

The best way parents can help their kids eat healthy is to provide a nutritious breakfast and healthy snacks they can nibble on throughout the day. And if breakfast is not an option at home, all Metro Schools offer breakfast for every student.

No child should be concerned about hunger. They should be focused on learning. Set your child up for success by understanding the importance of healthy eating and the building blocks of balanced meals at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

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Community Health Matters airs on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Central Time, with an encore showing on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m Central.