FLAVOURED MILK TOOLKIT TWO - FIND SUPPORT

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1 FLAVOURED MILK TOOLKIT TWO - FIND SUPPORT

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS POWER IN NUMBERS 1-2 EXAMPLE - FIND SUPPORT 3 CONNECT WITH OTHERS 3

3 This kit is part two on your journey towards removing, or at least limiting, flavored milk in school cafeterias. Here you will find general information about making your case for doing it and building a network of support to help make it happen. 1) FIND ALLIES AMONG PARENTS As a lone parent, asking for change is going to be tough. If you can, try to find three or four other parents who really care about the issue and are prepared to work with you and get involved. Reach out to other parents within the school district start with the ones you already know, such as the parents of your children s friends. Collect the names and contact information of those who are interested and set up a time to meet. 2) MEET WITH YOUR LUNCH LADIES Get to know your food service staff and ask them how you can help. Talk to them about how important it is to make sure that plain white milk is available to students and how they can help encourage students to choose and drink it. After all, they also have the best interests of the kids at heart. 3) SPEAK AT THE NEXT PTA MEETING POWER IN NUMBERS Not everyone will want to make changes towards removing flavored milk from schools, and it s likely that many people will use studies from the Dairy Council to back their argument. It is, therefore, up to you and your committee to present your case for change and to show that removing, or at least limiting, flavored milk in school cafeterias doesn t need to effect costs or cause concern for children s nutrition. Instead, it s an important step forward towards tackling the current obesity epidemic and the impact of poor nutrition on children s health and academic performance. 1

4 4) FIND ALLIES AMONG STAFF AND DECISION MAKERS Remember that the food and drink served in schools is a complex issue, involving lots of regulations. The nutrition services at your school is your first ally and your most powerful weapon for change. Be sure to collaborate with them from the beginning and let them know you want to help examine healthy beverages in a fun and engaging way. Find out whether your school has a health and wellness committee if it doesn t, now is the time to both create one and update the health and wellness policy. Part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act requires that schools have a health and wellness committee whose policy includes goals towards improving children s nutrition. The committee must include physical education teachers, school health professionals, the school board and school administrators, as well as students, parents and community members. Connecting with or even becoming a member of this committee will give you a good lead into the way things work within the school and how you can help drive change. 5) PRESENT TO YOUR SCHOOL BOARD Get flavored milks on the agenda for the next meeting. Work together as a committee and with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to present the facts. See if you can get help from your school nutrition director to prepare get their advice on the operational changes they ll need support with. You could also offer to run a pilot program and encourage your committee to get involved at every step of the way this will make it easier for everyone. 6) TALK TO STUDENTS AND MEET WITH THE STUDENT COUNCIL Students are often the strongest and most convincing advocates for change, especially as it impacts them the most. Speak to them as early on in the process as you can explain to them that you are trying to improve their health, why this is important and how they can help. 7) FIND EXTERNAL ADVISORS AND COLLABORATORS Ask a couple of local health experts to lend their support. For example, a pediatrician, dietician, the school nurse, health teacher, sports coach, local doctor or even a dentist. They will be able to provide an independent voice of authority on the importance of good nutrition for child health and the kinds of problems that arise from poor diet. They ll also be able to demonstrate how removing, or at least limiting, flavored milk in school cafeterias is an important first step towards tackling these problems. 2

5 EXAMPLE - FIND SUPPORT Hi, I m (your name), s (your child s name), Mom/Dad/teacher, and I m campaigning to reduce the amount of additives and sugar our children consume everyday at school. By getting our school to promote and encourage this, we can help fight childhood obesity. I have learnt that reducing or eliminating flavored, sweetened milk during school meals is easy and effective, and a decision we can make locally. With the help of the school and concerned parents like me, I hope to plan a fun and educational campaign to achieve this. Would you like to help? If so, please send me your address to help keep us coordinated. We ll be meeting shortly to start the conversation on how we can all work together to improve our school s food and drinks and, in turn, our children s health. Any questions? We are here to help you! us at CONNECT WITH OTHERS Find your nearest Food Revolution voluntary ambassador here, or apply to become one yourself here! Thanks to Margret Read MA, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, for her contributions. 3

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