New School Cafeteria Guidelines Make A Healthier Back-To-School Season


When students arrive at school this fall, their cafeteria will look a lot different. School meals must meet new federal nutrition standards requiring more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and less sodium and calories, as detailed in an article in the July issue of Food Nutrition & Science.

"With the ever-increasing childhood obesity rates, the government had to step in and help guide schools to provide healthier options for children," says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and "I support these efforts and am confident the better foods will not only help their bodies, but their minds too."

Every school meal will come with fat free or 1percent milk to provide the calcium kids need for strong bones, and lunch entrees will meet strict limits on saturated and trans fats.  Cafeterias will serve a wider variety of vegetables each week, including vitamin packed choices like broccoli, sweet potatoes and red pepper strips, and more fiber-rich beans and legumes. 

Also in this month's issue results from a recent study from the Economic Research Service that shows price increases for some high-calorie foods and beverages can lead to lower children's BMI (body mass index). According to the study, a 10 percent increase in the price of sodas lowered BMI .42 percent over a year, and that same increase in the price of 100 percent juices and starchy vegetables lowered BMI .3 percent over a year.

Among other informative articles, this month also includes an interview with Deb Roussou, author of 350 Best Vegan Recipes, and Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer for General Mills.

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