Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Signed Into Law

Move over French fries and vending machine junk food. Make room for more fresh produce, whole grains, and low-fat dairy coming to a school near you. On December 13, 2010, President Obama signed the revamped and much improved child nutrition reauthorization bill, named the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The Act gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) $4.5 billion in funding for school meals, nutrition education and promotion programs, and provides nutritious food for children from low-income households. Also thanks to the new bill, another 115,000 children will become eligible for school meals, and schools will receive the first substantial increase in federal meal reimbursement in more than 30 years.

The reauthorized bill gives the USDA greater authority to set standards for the nutritional quality of the food served in school cafeterias. In the past, an elementary school lunch may have consisted of the following:

  • Pizza sticks (3.8 oz.)
  • with marinara sauce (1.4 cup)
  • banana
  • raisins (1 oz.)
  • whole milk (8 oz.)

A new lunch proposed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 may consist of the following:

  • Chef Salad (1 cup romaine lettuce, 0.5 oz. low-fat mozzarella cheese, 1.5 oz. grilled chicken)
  • Whole-wheat soft pretzel (2.5 oz.)
  • Cooked corn (0.5 cup)
  • Raw baby carrots (0.25 cup)
  • Banana
  • Skim chocolate milk (8 oz.)
  • Two low-fat salad dressing options (1.5 oz. each)

While the old meals were higher in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat, the proposed changes would provide more nutrient-dense, lower-calorie meals focusing on whole grains, more fresh veggies, and low-fat dairy.

Currently, 31 million American children receive school lunches and many of these children consume the majority of their daily calories at school. In the wake of the growing childhood obesity epidemic, the new legislation stands to give American children more nutritious food options and teach them to make smarter food choices in the hopes that they will develop long-lasting healthy eating habits. Even U.S. military officials still see healthy school meals as “a matter of national security,” because obesity is the main reason young men and women are turned away from joining the armed forces. First Lady Michelle Obama advocated strongly for the reform and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack calls the bill “a historic victory for our nation’s youngsters.”

References

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Child_Nutrition_Fact_Sheet_12_10_10.pdf

New Proposed lunch: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/cnr_chart.pdf

Childhood obesity epidemic: http://fyiliving.com/kidshealth/school-lunches-a-hunger-for-better-nutrition/

U.S. military officials: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/13/president-obama-signs-healthy-hunger-free-kids-act-2010-law

Tom Vilsack: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2010/12/0632.xml

Tags from the story
, ,

1 Comment

  • THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO KEEP THERE NOSES OUT OF THIS COUNTRY’S LUNCH PROGRAMS. AND START DOING WHAT THERE SUPPOSE TO BE DOING WITH THE ECONOMY. OBAMA’S ARE NOTHING BUT THE BIGGEST BULLIES OF THIS COUNTRY. THEY TALK ABOUT BULLIES IN SCHOOL, THEY’RE THE WORST ONES. THEY NEED TO STOP SPENDING MONEY ON ALL THEIR STUPID VACATIONS, WHICH WE PAY FOR. PEOPLE ARE OUT OF WORK AND HE’S LETTING BRAZIL GETS MONEY FOR OIL EXPEDITIONS. WHEN HE WON’T LET THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY WORK. THEY ARE COMMUNIST AND NEED TO GO TO SOME OTHER COUNTRY LIKE CHINA IF THEY WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT. WE DON’T. LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *