Utah Schools Implement New Nutrition Guidelines
Students across Utah and the rest of the country will see some changes in their in school meals in the 2012-13 academic year. New federal nutrition standards for schools will go into effect this year. School districts will be expected to phase in all the meal standard changes over the next three years.
It has been 15 years since the school meal guidelines have change, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The new standards are part of the 2010 Hunger-Free Kids Act that aims to fight child hunger and obesity.
“Improving the quality of the school meals is a critical step in building a healthy future for our kids,” said Luann Elliott, director of the Utah State Office of Education’s of child nutrition programs.
The new meal standards call for practical changes that many parents are already encouraging at home. These include the following:
Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and
Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
“When it comes to our children, we must do everything possible to provide them with nutrition they need to be healthy, active and ready to face the future,” Elliot said. “Utah schools take an important step toward that goal with the implementation of the new meal guidelines in schools this year.”
Follow this link to see an example of a lunch before and after the new nutrition standards. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/cnr_chart.pdf
More information about the new food guidelines can be found at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/healthierschoolday/default.htm