Food for Thought: Improving School Lunch Programs
February 20, 2013
Schools across the nation have implemented a new breakfast & lunch program, to include healthier choices amongst children, adolescents and teens eating in their school cafeterias every day. The program was designed to allow the children attending school to receive healthy, low cost or free meals while fighting childhood obesity and hunger.
The National School Lunch Program is a federally-assisted program implemented across the nation within public or non-profit private schools and day cares with children high school age & under. The program itself is ...view middle of the document...
Children across the nation are facing both long term & short term health and physiological issues because of it, some which include diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and low self esteem. With the help of the National School Lunch Program Americans hope that the percent of children suffering from health related issues due to bad food choices /options decrease drastically within the up and coming years. As stated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act schools across the nation can not discriminate against people with disabilities, so as any other child in the public or private school system the National School Lunch Program must accommodate to their needs also. When a child with special needs enters a school they must have an authorized note from their primary physician which must include in detail what they can and can not have. With the help of parents, school officials and trained food service managers these children can be accommodated quite easily, at little cost to anyone and no extra cost to the child or his/her families. The program is geared towards getting and keeping every child in America healthy and full no matter the situation. Keeping the children of America happy, healthy and full may seem like a difficult job because as it is said children are some of the hardest critics yet the actual process is easier than it seems.
In 2010 the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA was required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to change the National School Lunch Program guidelines to include healthier food choices based on the information found in the newest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The key points to getting and staying as healthy as possible according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, include balancing calories to manage weight, foods and food components to decrease, foods and nutrients to increase, building healthy eating patterns and helping Americans make better choices! With these guidelines in place the process of making healthier choices in US schools became easier. Even though the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set calorie limits to ensure that every child from each age group grades K-12 get their proper dietary nutrition the preparation and service is determined by each school itself. After implementing the guidelines in each school the eligibility process of each child begins ; this process states that any child who lives in a household whose income is at or under 130 percent of poverty level is entitled to free lunch, every child who lives in a household whose...