Great News for Kids – No More Junk Food!

hunger free kids act girl eating apple off the tree imageIn 2010, The Hunger Free Kids Act directed the Department of Agriculture to change its standards for all food served in schools. On June 26, 2013, the government announced its Smart Snacks in School program for making snack food healthier for kids. This is the first real step in making school food a healthy choice for kids.

Omnipresent, empty calorie junk food snacks have become an urgent issue as the health of our children has really gone south:

  • One third of U.S. kids are overweight or obese.
  • Kids are at risk for pre-diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure even as kids.

What Smart Snacks in School Means

Vending machines will no longer be allowed to sell candy bars, high-fat chips, full calorie soft drinks and cookies. Healthy snacks will take their place. So starting in the 2013-2014 school year look for granola bars, peanuts, low-fat chips, flavored waters and juices.

Here are some of the Department of Agriculture’s new nutritional standards:

  • Snacks must be 200 calories or less.
  • School lunch entrees can be no more than 350 calories.
  • No trans fats and limits of sugar and fat.
  • Meals must include either a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or whole grain.

The goal is “real food” in schools. Companies will not be able to fortify snacks with cheap nutrients and fake sugars, call them healthy snacks and feed them to school-aged kids. Our kids are our future – a victory for them is a big victory for us all!

 

 


Join the Community Conversation!

* Please Note: We cannot effectively or legally answer personal health questions here, for further assistance please consider a personalized Ayurvedic Consultation.

  • Concerned mom

    I don’t understand “Meals must be a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or whole grain”. Will the skinny kids whose parents rely on a school lunch as the main meal of the day have enough to eat?

    • John Douillard

      Dear Concerned Mom,

      This is the minimal recommendation that school meals must include these items, rather than let them eat chips or just a hot dog with no veggies. This is by no means good enough, but at least the trend is to ensure more balance in the meals that schools provide.

      Hope that helps,
      John

      • Concerned mom

        Thank you John. I fully appreciate the value of wholesome real foods – vegetables, fruits, dairy foods and whole grains – and I don’t want children eating chips, cookies and junk food. I’m concerned about limiting calories for children who are underweight especially if parents don’t have the resources to provide more at home.

  • Sandra Nicht

    I agree with concerned mom – growing active children NEED fat (from healthy sources) for proper growth; nutrient density is one part of the equation, but as we are also trying in increase their activity levels this must be supported with caloric density as well! I suggest that parents do their own research on http://www.westonaprice.org – many articles on traditional foodways (with supporting scientific research) and even recipes to help keep kids (and their parents) vibrantly healthy, tooth decay free, and more!

  • Giozano

    When I was in grade school and high school. all unhealthy foods were banned, The most unhealthy foods were OCCASIONALLY French fries and chocolate milk. NEVER did we have soft drinks, candy bars or anything unhealthy. I am wondering why over the years schools became too lenient with what a highschooler or gradeschooler could obtain.