In fact, when it comes to kids’ nutrition, Pear Tree Elementary takes it very seriously, indeed.
For example, instead of children bringing a bagged lunch to school, all of the students participate in a mandatory healthy hot lunch program.
“We know what they’re eating, we know that it’s healthy for their body, and we know they’re eating three times a day rather than one large lunch. Therefore, the kids are not only getting the food they need to physically develop during their growth years, but they also have the right food in their body to actually focus when they’re studying, and don’t get tired or emotional.”
According to Romani, the hot lunch program is an integral part of the day at Pear Tree. Meals are very inclusive and very much centered around positive peer pressure, where everyone’s eating the same thing. This reinforces to the kids that eating healthily is normal.
He says that in the regular school system, positive peer pressure doesn’t always exist. “If you’re the kid who takes a packed lunch to school and it’s healthy, then you’re the kid that’s the odd one out. And if everyone else is eating fast food, that, in turn, makes you want to eat what they’re eating, and that’s negative peer pressure.”