Whether enjoying a mushroom-blend burger at school or grabbing a snack on a trip to the aquarium, America’s kids are fueling up on healthier foods thanks to the commitment of PHA partner Sodexo.
Sodexo is a food services and facilities management company serving more than 15 million consumers at 9,000 businesses, schools, healthcare organizations and government facilities nationwide. In 2016, it was chosen as PHA’s first Partner of the Year based in part on early success on elements of its commitments for increasing healthier food options.
Sodexo joined PHA in 2014 promising to implement its healthy dining program – Mindful by Sodexo – in 95 percent of its food service accounts, expand healthier food choices in at least 25 percent of its hospitals, offer 17 million more free breakfast meals in primary and secondary schools and increase the selection of healthier, more nutritious options in its vending and K-12 lunch programs. Sodexo also promised to offer healthier children’s meals at 40 percent of its food service accounts with American cultural destinations, such as aquariums, museums, ballparks and other recreational facilities.
Beyond providing healthier meals, Sodexo also promised to teach those feeding our kids how to encourage healthier eating habits. They did so by implementing the Smarter Lunchroom Program in their K-12 accounts. Using research-based principles developed by the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, the program teaches schools how to control portion sizes by using smaller bowls and spoons and how to get kids to make better food choices by placing the healthiest foods within easiest reach, listing them at the top of the menu and offering them multiple times throughout the cafeteria line, for example. By 2016, 100 percent of the 3,523 elementary, middle and high school accounts operated by Sodexo were implementing a minimum of 9 Smarter Lunchroom Tactics.
17 million free, healthy breakfasts are provided by Sodexo to students K-12