Supposedly, school lunches are going to be getting a healthy makeover. At least, that’s the rumor circulating around first lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Also rumored is that the first lady is running into some problems because last year congress blocked the Agriculture Department from making healthy changes such as limiting french fries and pizzas. Also, the new rules will costs states some cash, when really states have little to spare. In fact, the new standards are expected to cost $3.2 billion over the next five years.
This is the very first time in 15 years that the USDA is making and major changes to school meals.In any case, a little change is better than no change at all, although I won’t believe it’s happening until I hear more and see better school lunches in action.
The new final rule standards were just released today. Key points include…
- Offering both fruits and vegetables every day of the week
- Increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods.
- Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.
- Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size.
- Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
Check out a sample lunch menu (pdf) with a before and after comparison. In honor of the changes, let’s take a look back at some past Growing a Green Family school lunch posts:
What’s wrong with school lunches
- The Massive Disgusting School Lunch Issue
- I think the USA CAN afford healthy school lunches
- What’s the big deal about school lunch waste
- How to audit your school cafeteria
Pack your own:
- 10 easy steps to a packed waste-free school lunch
- Healthy and green school lunch ideas
- More than 90 percent of packed lunches susceptible to foodborne illness
- PlanetBox Complete Reusable Lunch Kit Review
- DIY Green Project: Make a reusable waste-free lunch kit!
Image via USDAgov