School cafeteria lunches are never going to be the stuff dreams are made of, but every child has the right to a nutritious and sustaining midday meal. But in public schools all over the country, much of the food is processed and unhealthy, making an already dire national problem with childhood obesity even worse. Over a third of children in the United States are overweight, and it can compromise their health for the rest of their lives.

This is why I feel so strongly about the work done by Wellness in the Schools. Founded by Nancy Easton and chef Bill Telepan, Wellness in the Schools works directly with individual schools to help them offer meals and snacks made from whole, fresh ingredients, with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. And just as importantly, it helps schools prioritize physical education, creating more active recess periods. American kids spend 12,000 hours in school between kindergarten and high school; shifting the culture of schools can make a vital difference to their long term health and food choices as adults