School Lunches Getting Big Changes
The government is considering giving school lunches a much needed makeover
The U.S Department of Agriculture recently proposed a rule designed to update nutrition standards for school meal programs for the first time in fifteen years. The changes to school meals are meant to help fight the obesity crisis and improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in programs every school day.
The proposed changes to school meal standards, which would add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk to school meals, are based on recommendations released in October 2009 by the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. Schools would also be required to limit the levels of saturated fat, sodium, calories, and trans fats in meals.
The changes would be part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010. First Lady Michelle Obama is also involved with her Let's Move! initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.
The USDA is currently requesting input on the proposed rule from the public through April 13, 2011. Those interested in reviewing the proposal and offering comments can visit www.regulations.gov. The comments received on this site will be considered in finalizing the rule before it’s implemented.