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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

CO pilot program prioritizes healthy, culturally relevant school meals

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023   

Two Colorado mothers are helping lead a school food pilot program within the Jefferson County School District in Edgewater in an effort to not only provide healthier meals, but culturally relevant foods.

Esther Caldera, a community leader and mother involved in the Jefferson Area Schools Food Pilot, said it began even before the state's Healthy School Meals for All program, a ballot initiative that passed last year. Caldera said although school meals have improved, more can be done to ensure kids can have access to healthier foods that they truly enjoy.

"We have seen that nutritional politics need to be revised, because they are not appropriate for the nourishment of our kids. Imagine, kindergarteners are receiving the same amount of calories as those who are in sixth grade. It is a lot, and there is a lot of food being wasted," she said.

Caldera added change is difficult, but necessary. A recent study
in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition calls for updating nutritional standards for healthier school meals. Caldera said she would like to see school leaders be willing to work to find better food options for students.

Azucena Rubio, a community leader and mother of three, acknowledges that getting children to eat healthier foods can sometimes be a challenge. But she's noticed they are more willing to eat the types of foods they're accustomed to eating at home. She said she once was in school herself, and remembers many times not wanting to eat school meals that simply weren't appealing. She hopes people who work in school cafeterias can also advocate for their pilot program.

"I'd like to feel their [cafeteria workers] support, because they're the ones that are going to prepare the food and then offer it to our children. So, I would like to see that support, the change and the introduction of more cultural foods," Rubio continued.

When kids are presented with appealing and healthier food, they'll want to eat it, which in turn affects their overall performance in school. It also means less food waste, since less will be thrown away, Rubio said.


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