"All over the region, little pockets of activity are coalescing into a collaborative Food Revolution a la Jamie Oliver, the British chef who champions healthier food in schools and elsewhere. Last fall at the One Young World conference held here, he challenged Pittsburgh to revamp its eating habits -- and Pittsburgh's delegates took him seriously."More info
"In the war on unhealthy snacks sold in schools, the opposition just launched another missile.
In a new report, researchers at the Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project find that the majority of American children live in states where less-than-healthy snacks are readily available. And more nutritious options, such as fruits and vegetables, are harder to come by for those same kids.
Without a national policy on what can and can't be sold to students in school vending machines and in cafeteria a la carte lines, a patchwork of state policies governs these items, say researchers in the report, "Out of Balance: A Look at Snack Foods in Secondary Schools Across the States." It shows that only 4 percent of schools in Connecticut sell non-chocolate candy, while 66 percent of schools in Louisiana sell those sweet treats, for example. While soda and fruit drinks are less available than they used to be, access varies from 3 percent of schools in West Virginia that sell them to more than half of schools in Utah.
And of policies that are on the books, only 5 percent meet or exceed the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is evidence-based federal government nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obese Americans..."
"With childhood obesity — and other health issues and nutrition requirements — increasing in schools, Williamsburg-James City County is focusing on providing nutritious meals to students."More info
"Representatives from National Food Group handed out samples of what could be on next year’s menu. Students sampled beef barbacoa with roasted vegetables, whole grain cheese ravioli with chunky marinara sauce and baked cod filet. Other items were cranberry oatmeal bars and breakfast items oatmeal chocolate vertical bars and berry apple crisp vertical bar."More info
"The Pew Charitable Trust recently issued a statement recognizing this as a significant step to help children nationwide. The School Food Modernization Act would help schools improve their meal programs in two ways. One part of the legislation would authorize a USDA competitive grant program through which schools could obtain training and technical assistance for foodservice employees."More info
Jessica Donze Black, director of the Pew Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project, speaks with Education Week about a bipartisan bill that would provide money for school kitchen upgrades.More info
Jessica Donze Black, project director for Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, is featured in Time magazine article about healthy school lunches.More info
"Recent changes to the federal school lunch program require more fresh fruits and vegetables to be served, but many schools in Iowa and across the country lack the fridge space needed to store large quantities of fresh produce, the Republican lawmaker said."More info
Jessica Donze Black, Pew’s expert on childhood nutrition, issued the following statement on the School Food Modernization Act.More info
"The USDA is updating the existing nutritional food standards set in 1979, which will require all snack foods sold in public schools to meet new health standards."More info
"Marty Tatara has succeeded with 'Six Cent For Child' certification, which will increase federal funding for nutrition in Madison City Schools."More info
"Orange County Public Schools are continuing to offer up a host of different lunch options to students throughout the county, expanding their taste buds through different food choices."More info
"High school students don't need to have access to caffeine on campus. Snacks sold at elementary and middle schools shouldn't have as many calories as those sold at high schools. And maybe schools shouldn't have vending machines or a la carte lunch lines at all."More info
In the absence of a national policy, school snack food standards vary by state. Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, speaks with The Washington Post about this issue.More info