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Why is it that I’m always out of pocket when the “big” news items hit? I have had limited internet access over the past couple days as I was briefly out of town. Anyway, I’m finally digging into the information that Michelle Obama announced in conjunction with the USDA and what it all means.
We’ve been hearing about them for over a year and it looks like they are finally out. The haggling over what qualifies as a vegetable was figured out: fries are still a veggie (BOO!) and so is the tomato paste on a piece of school pizza. Honestly, I thought that once the president signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that it was law, but the standards are coming into effect…in July. Here’s are some of the highlights:
- More fruits and vegetables at lunch time — Thumbs up: Now they just need time in which to eat them!
- Calorie maximum on meals — Thumbs up: There was always a minimum, but oddly never a maximum.
- Flavored milk still okay, but must be non-fat — Thumbs down: I believe that fat is not the enemy, but instead that sugar is the problem, so I’m still upset that chocolate and strawberry milks will be allowed. Let’s have kids down a bunch of sugary milk with no fat (which helps the sugar to be absorbed slowly into the bloodstream) and you’re looking at insulin spikes. Am I wrong to worry that kids aren’t getting enough of the good fats that problem healthy brain and cell development?
- Sodium to decrease over a ten year period — Thumbs up: I wish this could happen a little faster than ten years… Let’s put this in perspective. My son Charlie is 3 years old and in ten years he’ll be in the 8th grade. Um, that’s a long time.
The fact is that if a district is meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge they will meet the new mandatory guidelines. Of course I’m encouraged by these changes. I think we need more money to make this really go well in the fruit and veggie department. Click on the image I uploaded with this post — it’s of a “before/after” lunch menu with the new rules. The “after” menu is phenomenal, even jaw dropping. But it’s going to take a lot of creative thinking and fundraising to accomplish a menu like that. The simplicity of the “before/after” chart implies an ease that is just not there. What are your thoughts?
Healthier school lunches draw controversy (CBSNews.com)
School Lunches to Count Calories with New Nutrition Guidelines (The Daily Meal)
New Healthy School Lunch Rules Already Met By One District (Buffalo, NY) — VIDEO
Nutritional Look at School Lunch Changes (Rhinelander, Wisconsin — I can’t resist linking to my hometown news!)