a parent whose son eats a school lunch, I'm really glad that these
changes are happening. I want to know that the school lunch reinforces
what I want to teach him about eating
well. Having more veggies and whole grains benefits all kids." - Parent
Across the country, parents, teachers, health professionals, and military members share the same feelings that healthier school meals will have a huge and positive impact on our country. USDA FNS would like to thank you, our partners, for continuing to promote the benefits of the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 that made the School Day Just Got Healthier possible.
In cooperation with state agencies, we will continue to support schools as they implement these new standards to ensure that every child, in every community across America, has access to healthy and nutritious meals.
There are a few things we’d like you to know and share with your partners:
- The new standards ensure that children have the energy they need to learn in class and be physically active, while reducing their risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious chronic diseases.
The new school meals are intended to be
high in nutrients and adequate in calories, based on recommendations from the
Institute of Medicine and consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. New school meals portions are
"right sized" to reflect the proper balance between food groups.
- The new school meals offer more fruits and vegetables at lunch than previous meal pattern requirements, and the amount of fruits will double at breakfast beginning school year 2014/15. Whole grains are also increased substantially.
- In practice, many students are being served the same amount of protein under the new standards. The new standards ensure requirements for meat/meat alternates for each age group are in line with current nutrition science.
- The new school meals are designed to meet only a portion of a child's nutritional needs over the course of the school day.
- Schools and families have options to help meet the needs of highly active students who may need additional calories, such as athletes.
Thank you for your partnership and please use this information to keep raising awareness about the changes to the school meal standards. Visit The School Day Just Got Healthier website for more ways you can get involved: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/healthierschoolday.