3 NUTRITION? Most students consume as many as half of their calories at school. Studies show that students who eat school lunches eat healthier than those who do not – they get more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy. Nationally, 94% of elementary schools, 96% of middle schools, and 73% of high schools have closed campuses, which means that the food on campus is the food available to them during the day. Healthy students have better attendance and do better on standardized exams.
4 First, we updated the school meal standards and got a few questions…. Are kids getting enough to eat? –Meal intended to meet 1/3 of daily needs of average student. –Up to 850 calories in High School. –Previous average was 857 so not that different in total – just coming from some healthier sources. Why is the Federal Government setting nutrition guidelines for meals? –It’s a Federally funded program and USDA has been setting standards for meals since 1946. Will kids really eat foods that meet these standards? –It may take some clever marketing and change management but young people will absolutely eat healthier foods.
5 Now, it’s been nearly 2 years and the evidence shows the new standards are working… Some schools faced initial challenges, but both KSHF and GAO reports showed that most districts anticipated being able to overcome the challenges they were facing. 90% of districts are meeting updated standards A recent Harvard study demonstrates that children are consuming more fruits and vegetables and despite anecdotal reports…plate waste has NOT increased.
6 Next step: make sure the rest of the foods in school are healthy, too. Sixty-two percent of public elementary students and nearly all high school students can purchase “competitive” foods or beverages on campus. Less-healthy competitive products are commonly available: –44 percent of public elementary school students can buy foods such as potato chips, candy, cookies or french fries; –17 percent could buy sugar-sweetened beverages –38 percent could buy high-fat milks through vending machines, à la carte lines or other competitive venues on campus. In states with strong snack food laws, children gained less weight over a 3-year period compared to states without strong laws.
7 Parents want to know that their children have healthy options during the school day 80% of the voters surveyed favor national standards to limit the calories, fat content and sodium in food served in U.S. schools, while encouraging more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items
8 Healthy Nutrition Standards are win-win for Parents and Schools
9 What can you do? Get involved in your school, community, and state! What are your state/local snack and a la carte standards and is it time to update them? Do parents know about and support healthier nutrition standards? Already doing great work? Share your story and support other schools!
10 Next steps? Watch your PTA updates and follow us at www.healthyschoolfoodsnow.org www.healthyschoolfoodsnow.org Follow us on twitter @JDonzeBlack_Pew email@example.com