The food we eat dictates more than just our diets: it also affects behavior, health, and mental stamina. The Deron School has always valued our students’ wellbeing, and so we’re thrilled to partner with leading nutrition company Red Rabbit for a pilot program to serve nourishing and hearty lunches on our Union campus.
Red Rabbit’s philosophy is simple: “The ingredients we use have a direct impact on the health of the children we serve,” its website states. “We are responsible for feeding children, and it is our obligation to make continuous improvements to our sourcing and kitchen practices.”
That’s why Red Rabbit’s recipes are made from scratch, locally sourced, and consist of whole ingredients. Plus, the dishes are exciting and fresh to entice young eaters to create healthier diets. Delicious and nutritive lunches that Red Rabbit seasonally prepares range from eggplant parmesan with penne pasta and turkey sloppy joes on whole wheat rolls to jasmine rice bell pepper strips and a selection of fruits like pineapples, oranges, and honey dew.
“This is a very unique approach to school meal program offerings among schools serving our population of students, and I am hopeful that we can successfully differentiate ourselves in this area as well our academics and environment,” said Executive Director Ken Alter.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the effect of healthy diets on academic performance, concentration, and overall achievement. But despite these studies, children have a hard time of curbing their sweet-tooth desires: The Center for Disease Control notes that “empty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents age two–18 years — affecting the overall quality of their diets.” Red Rabbit — with meals low in fat and rich in whole grains and natural sugars — combats this statistic to not only keep students satiated and focused but also to excite them about the myriad possibilities for healthy, tasteful eating.
“With the increasing amount of information and data around the poor affects on behavior, focus and performance that chemicals, sugar and additives found in food targeted to kids have, I wanted to be a champion for an alternative approach and possibility,” said Principal Mariesa Grado, who spearheaded this effort on behalf of The Deron School.
“We felt that providing our students with the best quality, and responsibly sourced food available for our students was the right thing to do, so I am personally very excited about this pilot program,” added Director Lori Alter.
Spectrum News notes that children on the autism spectrum often struggle with weight; nearly a third are overweight or obese by age five and, unlike other obese children, those with autism have a harder time of changing their eating habits due to genetic makeup and selective (“picky”) eating.
While many struggle with dieting, these statistics only reinforce how engaged, committed, and dedicated The Deron School is to ensure that healthy habits are established early so students can feel full, happy, and healthy while in the classroom. As we look to further educate ourselves — and our students — about lifelong health and beneficial nutrition, we look forward to welcoming Red Rabbit to The Deron School family where they will keep our students nourished, engaged, and healthy.
Schedule a tour during an Open House to learn more!