USA Today:

Savvy entrepreneurs are cracking open the door to the grammar school lunchroom with something many parents can’t get soon enough: healthier lunches.

From New York to San Francisco, nearly a dozen companies are getting better-for-you lunches into the hands of students. Some sell online, some at school and one from a Manhattan storefront.

School lunches are big business. In public schools they often are controlled by unions and federal subsidies, primarily the $7 billion-a-year National School Lunch Program, which covers about half the 54 million public school kids. The lunches rarely include fresh fruits and veggies at a time when 17% of children ages 2 to 9 are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

With growing concern about child nutrition and obesity, more alternatives are being offered by tiny start-ups with names such as Health e-Lunch Kids, Brown Bag Naturals and Kidfresh.

Besides fresh fruit and veggies, their lunches include organic or natural foods without trans fats, additives or preservatives. At $4.50 to $7.40, they also cost up to three times the price of the typical school lunch.

Photo by Kidfresh.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on April 11, 2007 in Ideas.

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