The Department of Agriculture has issued new Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program effective July 1, 2012. This is the first time in 15 years the U.S. Department of Agriculture has raised school meal nutrition standards. The requirements are a key component of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 championed by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! Campaign. The department hopes it will improve the health of the nearly 32 million kids who participate in school meal programs every school day.
The Center for Disease Control Reports the following data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey as well as data from the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System:
· Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
· Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled
· 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
The Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program are aimed at better acceptance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while attempting to target the obesity epidemic facing our children today. The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program is a federally assisted meal program which requires schools to meet new nutritional guidelines recently announced in January of 2012. These new guidelines require that the school meal provider offer at a minimum 1 cup fruit and 1 cup vegetables with each lunch, which doubles the amount that is currently offered. Schools are to limit the amount of grains/starch by having minimum and maximum amount standards set according to grade/age of the child:
Grades: K-5th a minimum of 1 per day with a maximum of 8-9 per week.
Grades: 6-8 a minimum of 1 per day with a maximum of 8-10 per week.
Grades: 9-12 a minimum of 2 per day with a maximum of 10-12 per week
Schools are given minimum and maximum foods with trans fat, gradually lower sodium content, increase the use of whole grains, and offer only low-fat or fat-free milk.
By 2023, lunches should have 640 milligrams or less for kindergarten through fifth grade, 710 milligrams or less for sixth through eighth grades and 740 milligrams or less for high school
These new requirements join the old standards for the National School Lunch program, which required school lunches to meet recommendations from the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These include having no more than 30 percent of calories come from fat and less than 10 percent come from saturated fat. School lunches also must provide one-third of the recommended dietary allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
It is a challenging endeavor to provide, promote and have children accept and consume the new standards placed in front of us. As parents, we need to support and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables for our children to grow nutritionally healthy and attempt to alleviate disease processes associated with obesity now and in their future.
Statement of Affirmative Action - The Sharon City School District continues its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, color, national origin, handicap or disability,
as applicable in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies. This policy is as required by Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
Section 504 Regulations of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
For information regarding Title IX compliance, contact the district's Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Service Center, 215 Forker Blvd., Sharon, PA 16146, 412-983-4029.
For information on Section 504 Compliance, contact the district's Special Education Supervisor, West Hill Elementary School, 501 Ellsworth St., Sharon, PA 16146, 412-981-4880.
For information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the district Business Manager, Educational Service Center, 215 Forker Blvd., Sharon, PA 16146, 412-983-4004.