New School Lunch Rules: It's a Win-Win Not a War


From our partners at Healthy Kids Challenge:

I’ll be the first to admit that Healthy Kids Challenge makes it a top priority to create, and recognize, win-win situations when it comes to the health of our children. Regarding the final USDA rules for school lunch, they are a huge step forward in improving school nutrition. On Jan. 25, 2012, the new USDA School Nutrition Standards were announced, which will deliver healthier school meals to our nation’s children. The Standards include:

  • both fruit and vegetable choices every day.
  • increased whole grain options.
  • offering only low fat or fat free milk.
  • insuring proper portion sizes based on age.
  • focus on reducing saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

These new rules also serve to create a win-win in the middle of an overall “food fight” mentality. Kids and adults alike will benefit from the win-wins of these changes.

  • Win by eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy
  • Win by eating less fat and sodium
  • Win by serving proper portions

Sounds a whole lot like MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, eh? I bet that’s not an accident.

I am by no means saying they are THE solution. They join the growing body of healthy sustainable changes; ultimately leading to a healthy environment for our kids (and all of us, really). It took months of compromises, public comments, trade groups, politics, and more, to come to these final rules. The end result is a set of rules that everyone can benefit from – #1 being our kids. Yes, there is still work to be done. It’s going to take creativity and cooperation to make budgets and timelines work. But we are all on the same team. And now we can move forward and make the best of the situation, with what we have, wherever we are.

In that spirit, I’d like to offer some tips to help you do what you can to help make your own school’s meals into a win-win situation. Click here:

For the official USDA press release and actual standards, click here: