Posted on January 13th, 2011 No comments
A recent AP article talks about the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to better school lunches by implementing new meal guidelines that will add more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These changes will apply to meals subsidized by the federal government and will also require schools to cut sodium in meals by half and serve low fat milk. This announcement comes a few weeks after President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which helps schools pay for healthier meal options. Some of the points of the proposal include:
- Establishing the first calorie limits in school meals.
- Banning most trans fats.
- Incrementally increasing the amount of whole grains required with the goal of having all grains be whole grains.
- Improving breakfasts by having schools serve a grain and protein.
Some critics say it will be hard-pressed for schools, already strapped for cash, to pay for these new measures, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says these items are necessary in order to curtail the rise of obesity in the nation’s kids. Said Vilsack:
If we don’t contain obesity in this country it’s going to eat us alive in terms of health care costs.
Click the link above for more on the USDA proposal.
Posted on May 10th, 2010 No comments
A survey conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation found that a majority of Americans believe nutrition in local school meals falls far short of what children need.
Key findings include:
- 55 percent of Americans – and 63 percent of parents of school-age children – described the nutritional quality of local school food as “poor” or “only fair.”
- The top five items that came to mind when asked about school food are all high in fat or sodium: pizza; hamburgers; French fries/tater tots; hot dogs/corn dogs; and chicken nuggets.
- These are the very foods Americans would like to see drastically cut from school menus. Nearly 70 percent of Americans said pizza should be served in school just once a week or pulled from menus entirely; more than 60 percent said chicken nuggets and hamburgers should be limited to once a week or removed.
Here are the full results, in PDF: WKKF.