''Schools put focus on healthy choices''
"Lunchtime is approaching at Noonan Academy in south Fort Myers and chef Ralph Buonocore is hard at work whipping potatoes for shepherd’s pie and simmering his almost-famous gravy — down here we call it marinara sauce — for meatball subs.
'We’ve got fresh carrots and corn in here. I’m going to get these in the oven, put a little cheddar on them, and then it’s time to work on the meatballs,' the 54-year-old said, smoothing his chef’s coat.
As Congress fights over the legitimacy of tomato paste and pizza sauce as a serving of vegetables in school lunches, area private schools are taking the matter of children’s nutrition into their own hands."
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"In other words, children will be able to buy only foods that their parents would find generally acceptable,' says Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a non-profit, nonpartisan group helping to improve school foods for our kids. If your school participates in the National School Lunch Program (most public schools in the country do), they must adhere to these new snack regulations by the start of the 2014 school year. More info
The Pew Charitable Trusts offers thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their commitment to ensuring that all students have access to safe and healthy foods through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. More info
This Thanksgiving, students are thankful for healthy meals at home and in school. Meet Leon Sanchez, a student chef cooking up positive change. More info
Students in Maine School Administrative District No. 52 thought it was uncool to eat school meals. In high school in particular, meals that were nutritious enough to meet the federal government’s reimbursement standards bore the stigma of being for poor kids who couldn’t afford to bring their food or buy the more expensive a la carte options. The result: Few students ate complete, balanced meals with fruits and vegetables, and the school food service program was awash in red ink and losing $100,000 a year. More info
Although schools have made significant changes in order to serve healthy and appealing meals, resources to purchase the right equipment and to train personnel would help them do a better job. More info
"Three area produce growers have made a solid connection with Siouxland school lunch programs in Hinton, Dakota Valley, and Sioux City Bishop Heelan. The result is a three-way-win, with students getting fresher produce, the local farmers getting access to an important segment of the food service market, and the area economy developing stronger local ties." More info
"These days, it’s easy to blame the federal government for aggravating our lives." More info
The last few years have seen significant improvements to the health of the school environment. Schools across the country are increasing their efforts to prevent childhood obesity by serving healthier school meals providing more time for physical activity, and helping kids learn about proper nutrition. It’s clear that the new, healthier school meals implemented last year are working and having a positive impact on the health of our next generation. More info
Ninety-four percent of U.S. school districts expected to meet updated federal nutrition standards for lunches by the end of the 2012-13 academic year, according to a national survey commissioned by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. More info
As school food authorities work to implement the USDA's new meal standards, they may face challenges, including limitations in existing kitchen equipment and infrastructure, and in the training and skills of food service staff. This is the first of a series of reports summarizing how schools are putting in place the USDA standards and what challenges they face before they can reach full implementation. More info
Institutional and individual consumers have the power to change industrial farming practices that endanger human health. Routinely feeding antibiotics to livestock that are not sick is undermining the effectiveness of life-saving drugs, which leaves children especially vulnerable. That’s why, from inner city Chicago to the suburbs of Denver, schools are buying more food from producers who raise animals without misusing antibiotics. More info
Project director Jessica Donze Black answers some questions about how districts are successfully implementing the healthier meal standards. Despite some reports that schools are quitting the National School Lunch Program, the reality is that many across the country are serving nutritious foods that kids enjoy. More info
Students don’t need to be told to eat their veggies in Cincinnati. There are salad bars in every public school and the students are actually using them. www.healthyschoolfoodsnow.org
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The statistics were startling: One out of every three 8-year-olds in Ohio was overweight or obese. The state ranked fourth in the nation in percentage of overweight high school students, and half of its residents were expected to be obese by 2018. So in 2010, the state Legislature took aim at childhood obesity by passing the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act, which set stiff nutrition and physical education standards for elementary and secondary schools. More info
"Menomonie school district students will be getting more fruits and vegetables with their lunches this year." More info