Changes at the school cafeteria

2 Aug

school lunches

For a long time, we have worried about the food selection available to our children at school. Pizza, fried chicken, French fries, dessert, and high sugary drinks have been the order of the day. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for evaluating school lunch requirements, has initiated an extensive revision of the rules schools must follow in order to ensure that our kids and young people have access to healthy meals. According to Connie Crawley, a nutrition and health specialist at the University of Georgia, almost 75% of students in Georgia eat in their school cafeterias. They are the ones who will experience the changes to the cafeteria menu: less fat, less sugar, and less salt. Many of the proposed changes will not be in effect for many years, but the system has taken important steps towards offering a healthier and nutritious lunch.
The changes proposed by the U.S.D.A. address a number of concerns. For example, salt content will be restricted, foods that are high in fat will be substituted by healthier options, some dessert options will have fewer calories, and milk must now be either low in fat or non-fat. Unfortunately, school cafeterias will still include options that are not as healthy, so it is necessary to continue collaborating as a community to improve nutrition in this setting. It is important that parents and childcare providers join forces with officials in order to help students get used to the changes. The food that we prepare for our children at home should match the new options they will get in the school cafeteria, so that they receive consistent messages about healthy food choices. Health at home, health at school. Let’s motivate them to choose the best: low fat or nonfat milk, fruit and yogurt instead of cake, and fruit instead of juice. The new alternatives will be important tools in our fight against the obesity problem! Let’s toast, with a delicious and refreshing glass of water, to the proposed changes. Cheers!

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