School lunches get a 21st-century makeover

Weingarten said the kids in the San Francisco Bay area were ecstatic about using a cool gadget like the iPad, and “hopefully they learned a thing or two about nutrition.”

He suggests getting kids excited about nutrition by using technology in class: “Bring in some supermarket products, teach the children how to read their labels, and then have some fun by scanning the barcodes with Fooducate (Android, iPhone, iPod, and iPad).”

Fooducate isn’t the only school lunch nutrition app available for schools and parents. Other apps include:

  • PowerSchool for Students: This student information system includes lunch transactions and balances. However, in order to take advantage, schools must use the PowerLunch Meal management system.
  • Aww Man! Meatloaf Again? This app allows parents to see what the school is offering their child for lunch that day and is currently offered in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

For parents who want to take a more active role in their child’s school lunch options, more software is available:

  • A school lunch management solution, Mylunchmoney allows parents to view their child’s spending history, pay electronically, customize meal control settings, and set spending limits for their child.
  • This system for online school meal prepayments and nutrition education offers three services: MyKids for online prepayments; MyTray (interactive menus), where parents and students are able to view school breakfast and lunch options, while learning how food choices contribute to the nutritional quality of their diet; and MyNutrition, which provides educational opportunities for families and district staff related to health, nutrition, and physical activity. Resources include articles, tips, tools, recipes, links, challenges, and a section just for kids—designed to appeal to the entire school community.
  • This online management solution allows parents to view balances, check a child’s spending habits, and more.

Not just for parents, there are also numerous school lunch software options that track nutrition:

  • Nutri-Link: This suite of lunch management systems aims to promote a healthy lifestyle for school communities by tracking school lunch nutrition and more.
  • NutriKids: This is the school lunch management system that hosts MyNutriKids. It aims to provide nutrition education and easy lunch management for students and schools.
  • Lunch Time Data Management: A management solution with federal and state reimbursement tracking reports. It allows parents to view all purchases online in real time, and more.

Meris Stansbury

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