Healthy Eating Decisions
Parents Students Schools Lunch Menus

A cost-free, sustainable, and effective program to increase healthy eating during school lunch.

A short video by Dr. Dave Pittman
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Our project seeks to improve the health of Spartanburg County elementary students while instilling a sense of pride and strengthening self-esteem through reinforcing healthy eating decisions during school lunch.The Healthy Eating Decisions program is available free of charge to all 40 Spartanburg County elementary schools serving over 21,000 youth in our local community. View a list of participating schools.

Research has shown that overweight students had significantly lower math and reading scores than normal weight kindergarteners (Ref. 1). Data collected from 5 of the 7 Spartanburg County school districts in 2008 indicate that 34% of elementary school children are either overweight or obese (>85th percentile) while only 3% of the students were underweight. Overweight and obesity disproportionally affects low socioeconomic classes (Ref. 2), which are also the students most frequently receiving free or reduced school lunch on a daily basis.

Our program identifies the "healthiest" meal from the available options each daily in your child's cafeteria. The criterion for the healthiest meal was developed by JuliSu DiMucci-Ward, RD, MPH, CDE, LD, a registered and licensed dietitian with over 20 years of experience in pediatric nutrition. Our long-term goal is the reduction of childhood obesity in Spartanburg County through instilling healthy eating habits in elementary school children.

Normal weight children are not only healthier but also have higher self-esteem and confidence, all of which can translate into better academic performance and less behavioral disruptions in the classroom.

Please visit our PROVEN RESULTS page for evidence of the success of our program!