Schools all across the nation are preparing for July 1, 2014, when the USDA’s new Smart Snacks in School program will take effect.
Under the new program, all public schools receiving federal funding will have to comply with new, stringent nutritional guidelines for food sold in schools. In short, junk food is about to be booted from your child's lunch menu.
In addition to the requirements discussed in a USDA video below, all food sold in schools must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product
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- Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food
- Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup fruit and/or vegetable
- Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of a nutrient of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).
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The effort is the latest on behalf of the government to fight America’s very real – and very expensive – obesity epidemic. Fat-filled lunch choices in school have no doubt played a role in America’s world-worst 21% obesity rate among children 12-19 years old.
For a full rundown on the nutritional rules set to take place in schools, watch this short USDA video: