Healthier School Lunches On Their Way

healthy school lunch

The USDA released new guidelines today to provide school lunches for students across the country.  The changes were made as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into last year, and overall, they do look like a decent improvement.  Check out this before and after lunch menu to get a better idea of what the changes might really mean, and read a little more about the changes here.

*image credit for above: Chicago Magazine, April 2011*

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  • Amanda Herwaldt Cowan
    February 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    IT means nothing without removing sugar from the classrooms. Between the learning lessons (oreos for graphing??) and birthdays (parents have to bring in store-bought items because of allergies and somehow it doesn’t occur to them to NOT bring food), and holiday parties, it’s like there is sugar several times a week, just in the classroom. And even with the changes, I still won’t let my kids eat school lunch more than once or twice a month.

    Just do yourself and your daughter a favor and make sure to do your research about her school. Lucky for you, you’re in California which tends to be very forward thinking in these sorts of issues. We’re in California and I can hardly get the other parents interested at all. The whole “It’s just one day” mentality and all.

  • Amelia
    February 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Oreos for graphing? That’s awful! Special treats are one thing, but they should be just that – special and a treat.

  • Amanda Herwaldt Cowan
    February 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    It’s really hard, because here in AZ there isn’t much in schools to keep the sugar out. It makes it hard to ever have “special treats”.. You should have seen the Valentine food orgy they had in my kinders’ room. We didn’t even really get a say. There was no email asking for ideas for a celebration. Just one day an email showed up saying “hey, we’re having an ice cream social and we need the following items donated”.. oreos, reeses, gummies, syrups (OMG! Those were the worst!), ice creams, etc. I volunteered to help so that at least I could guide my little one through her decisions. THEN they followed that up with a Valentine exchange. Not just cards. My 5 year old brought home a shoe box full of candy valentines. I let them (my two school aged girls) each chose 3 and then they tossed the rest. Luckily we talk about this stuff a lot. So they’re ok with it. They know that sugar is ‘ok’ in very small amounts. They know about how much is ‘ok’ and that the amounts in those candies is usually WAY more than “ok”. Communication is key with them. I’m luckier than most here because 1) I care about what my kids eat and 2) my kids are healthy weights. I have a sad feeling that the candy/etc at school is the least of some of these kids’ problems. I’ve seen the lunches sent from home. And way too many little overweight kiddos in their classes.

  • Amelia
    February 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Wow, that sounds so hard! To even be put in this position as a parent is unfair. Schools, teachers, and policies should have children’s health in mind with everything they do, but this is clearly not the norm. I hope the small changes being made in many districts soon spread, and create larger more long-lasting changes nationwide.

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