Your child’s school day just got healthier! School lunches now include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods; only fat-free or low-fat milk; “right-size” meals with portions designed for a child’s age; and less saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. The changes in school meals, the first in 15 years, are based on the latest nutritional guidelines.
Here are some important facts about the new school meals:
• The new school lunch provides 1/3 of the average daily calorie needs for kids by age.
• Some highly active students, like athletes, may need more calories. Some schools may offer second helpings of fruits and vegetables. A second carton of milk may also be an option. Schools can also operate after-school snack and supper programs. Students and/or sports teams can also bring food from home.
• In practice, many students are being served the same amounts of protein as before under the new standards.
Your child can learn good habits for life by making healthy food choices and getting proper exercise now. This year is a transition year as schools implement these new standards and work together with parents, to ensure that every child, in every community across America, has access to healthy and nutritious meals. Encourage them to try new foods and eat the healthy food offered. Reinforce healthy eating by offering similar new foods at home.