For the first time in more than 30 years, the U.S Department of Agriculture is updating nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools. This proposed rule complements USDA’s standards for school meals, which took effect this school year.
We need your help to make sure USDA takes real action to improve the foods and beverages that students can buy every day.
These proposed guidelines could make a major difference to children’s health. They would ensure that when kids make choices about snacks and drinks, the options they see are healthy ones, whether sold as a la carte items in the cafeteria, in vending machines, or in school stores. These items are a big part of what our young people eat—roughly 40 percent of students buy a snack at school every day.
Help make sure all the choices kids have are healthy ones.
Even if students eat a healthy lunch, research shows they often still consume excess calories from additional a la carte items the cafeteria might serve, such as french fries or ice cream. Sometimes kids skip a nutritious meal entirely in favor of less-healthy snacks.
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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
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