Fruits and Vegetables Star in USDA’s New School Meal Standards
The United Fresh Produce Association applauds the release of new nutrition standards for school meals. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack celebrated the new school nutrition standards yesterday at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. The new standards will double the amount of fruits and vegetables served to 32 million students through the National School Lunch Program, the first such improvement in more than 15 years.
The new nutrition standard aligns the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which emphasized increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
“We are very excited that fruits and vegetables will be the stars of healthier school meals. Children like fresh fruits and vegetables and they will be eating more next school year when this regulation takes effect,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United’s vice president of nutrition and health, who participated in today’s announcement. “Increasing children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables will improve their health and reduce their risk of childhood obesity. We support this landmark effort by First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA to create healthier school meals and healthier school food environments for millions of America’s children.”
“Our members are partnering with schools across the country to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals,” said United President Tom Stenzel. "This is a great step towards providing our children with a foundation for healthy eating for the rest of their lives, and the fresh produce industry is proud to be involved.”