"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
This year, schools all across the country will have access to healthier school meals in their cafeteria. We chatted with Libertad Mendivil, a student chef from Denver, about healthy school meals and eating. The teen is a finalist from Cooking Up Change, a competition in which high school students compete to make healthy school meals that are tasty for students and affordable for school districts.
Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods (KSHF): How did you get involved in the Cooking Up Change Competition?
Libertad Mendivil: Cooking is something I’ve always been interested in, so it was a program that I wanted to get involved in. At first I thought it would be just a one-time opportunity to cook, but it turned out to be this awesome competition, a great trip to DC, and a way to meet other awesome kids.
KSHF: So had you thought about eating healthy before the competition?
Libertad Mendivil: I had considered it; I’d say I need to eat healthier, but never went through with anything. I didn’t have resources or recipes until I joined the competition. I then learned that eating healthy was a bigger part of who I am than I thought.
KSHF: What did you learn?
Libertad Mendivil: That we kids really aren’t that different. Many of us look for something healthy in our lunches and something that’s not just frozen then heated up. We all want the same thing and now, we have a voice because we got involved.
KSHF: If you had any message to give to a policy maker or President Obama, what would it be?
Libertad Mendivil: To put stoves in our kitchens. Without proper equipment, it makes sense why we have frozen food over real cooked food.
"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
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
"Menomonie school district students will be getting more fruits and vegetables with their lunches this year."More info