Bye Bye, Bad Food: New Federal Effort to Whip Cafeterias into Shape

I love this idea because I know the kids will eat healthier if given the choice. I worked at a school where they had a fruit cart grant. The cart was on wheels. It moved around the school all day. When the classes had snack time or when they came in from recess the kids would pass by the cart and reach in and grab a snack. It had cut/sliced orange, apples, pears, pineapple, watermelon, cucumbers, celery also grapes. The kids and teachers LOVED it. The school only had it for a year because the grant rotates it around the district. I think there should be a fruit cart in every school! (ill try to look up the link to the grant info and post later)


Bye Bye, Bad Food: New Federal Effort to Whip Cafeterias into Shape

I have to admit that I did enjoy chowing down on french fries and chocolate chip cookies in my elementary school days. But as junk foods have come to dominate the lunch room landscape in many schools and rates of childhood obesity and diabetes have soared over the past two decades, I find myself agreeing with the Obama administration that these unhealthy items should be dropped from the school menu. This week the administration announced plans for a federal effort to remove sugary food and beverages from school vending machines and lunch lines, and require many schools to offer more nutritious options.

The legislation will be an important step toward creating healthy nutrition habits for kids and are a part of the administration's plans to incorporate healthier options into the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act later this year (an effort we here at TakePart strongly support). The proposed spending for the new rules will add $1 billion more each year to the $18 billion meals program, which some are concerned won't be enough to cover the cost of adding more nutritious alternatives. I hardly think that should be a reason not to pass this legislation that is so vital to the health of our countr. I'm sure the resources can be found to meet the changing needs of cafeterias. Also, I'm sure many students will be saddened to learn that they won't get to enjoy their favorite sugary or salty treat, but kids' palates are pretty flexible and they'll likely adapt quickly to the wider array of flavors that healthier options will provide.

The new federal effort is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity campaign,"Let's Move", which was just launched today. In addition to improving the school lunch program, the ambitious initiative will also help guide parents in making healthier food choices at home, increase accessibility and affordability of nutritious food across the country, and increase opportunities for kids to be physically active. We are on the verge of major improvements to the nutritional habits of children and adults, and I'm excited to see what happens next (even more excited than I was to eat those french fries in school).

Photo: colros' Flickr photostream/Creative Commons

Featured Photo: Laurenv's Flickr photostream/Creative Commons

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