New School Lunch Standards

I remember so well, and my adult children so often remind me of how I wore them out with my litany of deli sandwiches for lunch when they were in elementary school. Back then I had no consciousness of health. I went for convenience, which meant that my children ate a lot of processed deli meat sandwiches and a variety of chips and hostess cupcakes and twinkies, or a candy bar. As we all know, lunches like this contributes to childhood obesity. In my apology to my children, charge it to my lack of knowledge. I didn’t know any better.

I was glad when I came across this article on USDA.Gov website. The article addresses childhood obesity and the new standard for school lunches aimed at making a healthier environment in the school system. Check out what the government is saying about your child’s lunch program at school:

Why new school lunch standards? You’ve probably heard the facts before: Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in the United States have tripled. Today, more than 23 million children and teens are overweight or obese, which places them at increased risk for serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke. Ensuring that school meals are healthy and in line with current nutrition science is important for kids’ health as well as for academics. Research shows that students who do not have reliable, healthy meals in kindergarten are noticeably behind their peers in reading and math by the third grade.

Given these concerns and advancements in nutrition, school nutrition standards have been updated and go into effect this school year. School nutrition programs across the country are working to make school lunches healthier.

New school year, new school meals: What’s on the menu?

The school lunch changes include: more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, a shift to low‐fat or nonfat milk, and limits on calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats.

Preparing lunch for your children every day for 9 months can be a challenge, even for the health conscious. So I'm glad that that the government is getting involved and helping to provide healthier meals for your children at school.


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