Updated: Dec 7, 2020
School food providers have had to adapt in many ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have they had to figure out how to provide food to children and youth in ways that are COVID-safe, but many have also worked to maintain a focus on nutritious food.
Healthy food at school is important for the development of children and youth. It reduces their risk of health problems in later years and allows them to be better learners at school. Although pre-packaged foods are a convenient option as schools reopen, and many guidelines recommend their use, they may pose long term environmental and health concerns, as they are often highly processed and use single-use plastic. If your health
and safety guidelines and policies allow, try to rely on packaged foods less often and prepare fresh foods as often as possible.
This guide, written by Lindsay Goodridge, MPH ('21) is meant to encourage and inspire school food providers to use creative solutions to serve fresh, whole, and nutritious food to students in ways that are COVID-safe with as little use of packaged foods as possible. However, the information and suggestions presented are not meant to be prescriptive and should only be considered in the context of each individual program’s current health guidelines and policies.