March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus new energy on giving kids healthy food options throughout the school day. Students consume up to half of their daily calories in school, so access to wholesome meals and snacks is important to their overall health. In fact, research shows that students living in states with strong nutrition laws gain less weight than those in states without such policies.More info
Parents who support national nutrition standards for snack and a la carte foods in schools.
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Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards to help ensure that students are provided with school snack foods and beverages that contain less sodium, sugar, and fat.
Once the standards go into effect, healthful options will replace high-calorie snacks sold in vending machines, school stores, a la carte lines, and snack bars.
Many schools have begun to implement new food policies and provide a fresh take on nutritious meals.
Read "School Food Success Stories" to find out how state legislators, parents, and teachers worked together to put fruit and vegetable dishes at the head of the class.
- 7 Questions About Smart Snacks in School Standards
- School Food Success Stories
- Infographic: Snack Facts
- Infographic: Five Facts You Should Know About School Meals
- Calculating The Cost: A Look Into Your Child’s School Meal
- Leaders Applaud USDA for Finalizing Snack Standards
- Video: School Meals Get Healthier: Students and Experts React
Jessica Donze Black, director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, calls the modification change a “pragmatic and scientifically sound decision,” and San Francisco-based school food reformer Dana Woldow agrees: “[The calorie caps] will automatically limit the amount of potentially fatty protein and grains going into the meals. I think the days of seeing giant cheeseburgers the size of your head in school cafeterias may be over.”More info
It was food delivery day at Glen Landing Middle School in Blackwood, New Jersey, and the 42-year-old walk-in freezer went kaput. Again.More info
This is the second in a series of reports that summarizes how schools are putting in place updated U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, meal standards and the challenges they must overcome to reach full implementation.More info
infrastructure. More info
Schools would be better able to serve healthy, appealing meals if investments were made in new kitchen equipment and infrastructure.More info
Only 1 in 10 school districts nationwide (12 percent) has all the kitchen equipment needed to serve healthy foods, according to a new report issued by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. The report makes recommendations for how schools, policymakers, industry, and philanthropic partners can work together to make these investments and provide healthy, appealing foods more efficiently. It is the first national assessment of districts’ kitchen equipment and infrastructure needs.More info
"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