In celebration of National School Lunch Week (October 15–19), school cafeterias nationwide will host the “School Lunch–What’s Cooking?” campaign to highlight the healthy foods and positive changes on school lunch menus.

School cafeterias have been cooking up student taste tests, farm-to-school programs, chef-inspired recipes, and nutrition education initiatives, all designed to inspire students to try the healthier choices available with school lunch. 

To celebrate, many schools will host special events with fun activities for students and provide take-home sheets to inform parents about the new federal nutrition standards for school meals, which require more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and unhealthy fat on student lunch trays.

Schools are getting parents in on the fun, too. Many are participating in “Take Your Parents to Lunch Day,” inviting parents to visit the cafeteria, celebrate what’s great about school lunch, and learn how to get involved in promoting healthier choices for students. 

To raise awareness of the importance of the National School Lunch Program, serving more than 31 million American students each day, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) helps schools recognize National School Lunch Week with an official campaign theme, suggested menus and recipes, promotional resources, and more. 

This year’s “School Lunch–What’s Cooking?” campaign is sponsored by SNA and the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP). It highlights all the components of well-balanced school meals. 

SNA has also released a new public service announcement, “Today’s School Lunch.”