Where does your middle school student's lunch money go? Imagine that you give your student $2.50 to buy a meal at school. Here are the choices he or she faces every day. Click on the arrows to learn more.
"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."
"First lady Michelle Obama visited the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this month and praised the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the 2010 law designed to make school lunches more nutritious. Audrey Rowe, the administrator of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), oversees federal nutrition assistance and education programs, including the 2010 law. Rowe spoke with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. He also heads the Partnership’s Center for Government Leadership." 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.