Nutrition in the News: School Lunch Bill Inches Closer to Passage

The bill will push schools away from these lunch options…

to options that look more like this, with healthy options from all food groups.

The bill that will bolster the nutritional value in today’s school lunches passed through the floor of the Senate for a final vote on Wednesday. The bill, which will revamp school lunches by offering healthier foods with a higher nutritional value and work to train cafeteria workers, titled the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, would add an additional 4.5 billion dollars over the next 1o years to child-nutrition programs.

Along with providing healthier food, this bill will help to prevent school’s distribution of contaminated foods, which have sickened thousands of children nationwide.

Schools who implement what the bill dictates are also eligible for a financial incentive [about 6 cents per healthy meal they serve.] That 6 cents will add up quickly over the course of the year and will help to fund thousands of schools that are facing more budget cuts in lower socioeconomic areas. Another goal of the bill is to expand the number of students who can get reduced cost lunches. All children in high poverty areas will automatically qualify.

This bill, which has been pushed heavily by first lady Michelle Obama, is exactly what this country needs to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and childhood hunger. The original Child Nutrition Act, which was passed in 1966, was in serious need of a make-over, which is represented in this bill. Although, like the Health Reform Bill, will be tricky to implement, this bill has potential to change the way children are eating now, which will add years to their lives and give them more of an insight on what they are putting into their bodies.

In college I wrote a paper on school lunches and children and interviewed a few local children about what they eat. One of the children, a heavy boy, mentioned that his mom makes him eat “gross green leafs and broccoli” at dinner and doesn’t allow soda or a lot of junk in the house. So how was he so big? The food he was being served at lunch. He bought his lunch everyday, which consisted of tater tots, greasy pizza, fried chicken and ice cream. Many children are getting the right foods at home, however, are eating only junk at school. This bill, if passed, will help to keep children on the right track, both at home and in school. Although this is not the case for the thousands of children who are fed junk at home, it will give children healthy options for at least one of their meals, which is a step in the right direction.

I think this bill is necessary in today’s climate where the obesity epidemic is continuing to rise and where children are dying before their parents because of obesity-related health risks. Schools need to set an example, both in the classroom and cafeteria, and need to focus on teaching children the fundamentals of nutrition and health.

For links to similar articles, visit http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/03/25/school-lunches-next-up-for-overhaul/, http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/Lawmakers-Revamp-School-Lunch-Guidelines-mar-24-2010 and http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-03-24-school-lunch-safety_N.htm

Advertisements

~ by therealnutritionist on March 26, 2010.

One Response to “Nutrition in the News: School Lunch Bill Inches Closer to Passage”

  1. […] complete menu overhauls and reduction of soda and vending machines in schools. [Visit my previous NITN segment on the Health kids act for more details on the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: