CEO, K-12 Schools
Sodexo North America
We know how important it is for kids to eat healthy. Parents and educators strive to ensure children have access to healthy options at home and at school — but what about in their communities?
Sodexo has partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to make sure we have healthy choices in all the food service facilities we oversee, including community venues where families spend their leisure time, such as aquariums, museums and zoos.
Fun days should also be healthy days, so we’ve made healthy sides and beverages the default choice for children at cultural destinations across America, from the Seattle Aquarium to the North Carolina Zoo, and from the Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts to the Space Center in Houston.
It’s important to note that we’re not just adding healthy options for kids — we’re making them the easier choice. When the healthy choice is the default choice, parents aren’t put in the position of asking their child to choose between fries and fruit, making mealtime simpler and more pleasant for families. It means less time is spent negotiating over food choices and more time goes to enjoying these zoos, museums, botanic gardens and aquariums.
Less than two years ago, Sodexo made a commitment to PHA to improve the health and nutritional value of the children’s meals offered at 40 percent of its cultural destinations by offering a default side of a fruit or non-fried vegetable and making water or low-fat milk the default beverage.
We’re proud to say that Sodexo has already exceeded that commitment. We’re now up to 65 percent of the locations where we serve children now have made healthy sides and drinks the default choice, with an additional 20 percent of locations taking steps toward the standard.
This milestone has an outsize impact: Some of these locations serve a million or more visitors each year.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done in the leisure area, and we’ve made similar commitments to encourage healthier choices in our other food service locations as well. Sodexo is implementing changes to make the healthier choice an easier choice in corporate and government workplaces, campuses, hospitals and schools, too.
Follow Sodexo and the conversation on healthy eating at this year’s annual PHA Summit at #PHASummit.