It’s back-to-school season and that means you’ll no longer be in control of what your child is eating for breakfast and lunch every day. Luckily, the United States Department of Agriculture oversees school lunches nationally. Back in 2010 the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act was put in place to transform the school food environment in order to promote better nutrition, combat childhood hunger and reduce the likelihood of developing obesity.
The act contains many provisions that help make meals more nutritious. These updated standards for school meals include providing fruits and vegetables daily, increasing the amount of whole grain-rich foods offered, providing low-fat or fat free milk with every meal, limiting the calories based on the age of the children to ensure proper portion sizes and increasing focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars and sodium in school meals.
The ‘6 cent rule’ is another part of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. This rule reimburses schools an additional 6 cents for every lunch served that meets these meal standards. The USDA believes that this rule will be an incentive for schools to make meals healthier.
If you’re interested in seeing how students in different countries eat, check out Huffington Post’s Photos of School Lunches Around the World.