State Nutrition for kids
Kids consume up to 50 percent of their daily calories at school, so access to healthy meals and snacks is important to their overall health. This is especially true for the 21.5 million students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals and rely on food served in school to meet their nutritional needs.
The past few years have brought exciting improvements to the school food environment nationwide, and there will be major opportunities to build on this progress in 2014. One of the great recent achievements is that the vast majority of schools (86 percent) are serving healthy lunches that meet nutrition standards. This means that in most schools, students are receiving more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with their meals. In addition, schools this fall will implement “Smart Snacks” standards for foods and beverages sold outside the school meal programs. These guidelines will ensure that snacks in vending machines, school stores, a la carte lines, and snack bars are healthy. Nutritious snacks in schools not only are good for students’ diets; research shows they also can increase food service revenue.