From ATA World Volume 19, Number 4 Winter 2012
In January 2012, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture announced the first major new standards for school lunches since
1997. This school year students have been finding more green on their trays, as
meals must now include fruits and vegetables every day. Schools also must cut
back on total calories, sodium, and saturated and trans fats, and serve more
whole grains (think sandwiches on whole-wheat bread). In the dairy department,
whole milk is not the whole picture: Nonfat and low-fat milk options are now
In addition to the lunch rules, vending machine snacks and drinks sold on school grounds also must meet nutritional standards. Watch out sugary soda in schools. Your days are numbered. These new rules took effect July 1 and will slide onto trays in schools around the country during the next three years.
The new standards are part of an effort to fight childhood obesity. Itís a cause ATA stands behind too. ATA believes efforts to curb childhood and adult obesity are essential to the health and well-being of families. About 32 million students across the nation in public and private schools eat school lunch at least part of the time, so these changes will teach many kids good eating habits early.