Standards for School Nutrition
As a part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) New Meal Pattern, school meals will offer foods and portion sizes recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This includes:
- More whole grain rich-foods
- More fruits and increased varieties of vegetables
- Low-fat and fat-free milk choices
- Sodium reductions and trans-fats removed
- Age-appropriate portion sizes
The New Meal Pattern raises nutrition standards in schools across the nation and is expected to play a key part of improving the health and nutrition of more than 32 million students nationwide, including the 1.59 million students statewide in Georgia.
“We are working diligently to ensure that school nutrition professionals are ready to start applying these positive changes to school meals this year,” said Georgia School Nutrition Division Director, Nancy Rice. “Our state has successfully trained School Nutrition Directors for each local school district. We will also continue to provide resourceful materials so that the implementation of healthier meals will also foster a conversation about healthy food choices at school and at home.”
Visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website to learn more about the Federal Nutrition Standards for School Meals.
Students are encouraged to eat school prepared meals. Food items brought from home to be consumed in the school cafeteria should be in appropriate containers such as paper bags or lunch boxes. Containers with advertising (such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, etc.) and carbonated beverages should not be brought into the school cafeteria.