We are the third and fourth grade Lake Oswego girls group of Girls Inc. NW Oregon, an affiliate of the national organization dedicated to inspire all girls to be “Strong, Smart and Bold.” When an editor at the Lake Oswego Review asked us to write a Citizen’s View for our Spring Girls Inc. Media Literacy project, we knew what we wanted to write about — our school lunches.

There are some things we really like about our lunch program. We love the small treat we get once a month and also the rule that we have to choose one fruit or one veggie (a healthy choice!), but we think there are ways to make our lunches even better. We put our minds together and here are some of our ideas:

-We would love to see the menu change a few times during the year so we have a variety. Maybe students could give their opinions and vote on which lunch items they like or what new items to have. We like the idea of “decorating your own pizza” with toppings like cheese, pepperoni and veggies. Tacos could be tastier if we had more toppings too.

-Healthier choices and more vegetarian choices could replace things on the menu that aren’t so healthy - like hot dogs and pizza which could be served less often.

-Chocolate milk and juice have a lot of sugar in them, so maybe those should not be on the menu every day. If people can’t drink regular milk, lactose free milk would be nice.

-Like the Portland Public Schools, we would love to get fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. A bigger selection of fruits and vegetables each day would also be very nutritious.

-Schools could have a garden, and what we grow could be part of what is served at lunchtime. Parents could volunteer to help us with our gardens.

-We know that choices we make with our food are important. Educational field trips to local farms would help us understand where our food comes from.

-We could spend time in the classroom talking about nutrition and how what we eat makes us healthy or unhealthy.

If healthier food costs more, parents and schools could do fundraisers so we could afford these changes. Parents might also be willing to spend more for our lunches if they know our food is healthier and we will like our lunches more.

Even if we can’t have all of these changes, we hope that the people in charge of lunches at our schools will read this and agree with some of our ideas to make lunches in Lake Oswego even better.

Lake Oswego Girls Inc. Spring Group members include Elisabeth Firmin, Anna James, Mia Middleton, Anna Onishi, Amber Prasad, Chelsea Prasad, Kate Templin and Jenn Templin.

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