Support Healthier School Food

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Schools across the country are working hard to improve school nutrition.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA)

In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) made significant improvements to school foods and other child nutrition programs, providing children with more nutritious food options and teaching children healthy habits that can last a lifetime. The HHFKA established national nutrition standards for all food sold in schools, strengthened local wellness policies, improved the nutritional quality of school meals, strengthened accountability of school meals, and improved meal financing to support healthy school meals.

School Meals

The updated standards, set in 2012, aligned school meals with the latest nutrition science, established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the National Academy of Sciences. Thanks to the updated standards, schools now offer more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, low-fat or non-fat milk, sensible limits on calories, and less unhealthy fats and salt, and healthier snacks and beverages. With one out of every three children overweight or obese and nearly 30 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program, these improvements are a key strategy for supporting children’s health.

Final Rules

Nearly all schools are meeting the updated nutrition standards for school lunch, but continued attacks by USDA threaten progress made and child health. There is still more work to do to ensure all kids have access to healthy, appealing food at school.

General Resources

Participation

Plate Waste

Calories

Sodium

Whole Grains

Added Sugar

USDA Foods (Commodities)

Policy Options

Tips

For more information, contact the Center for Science in the Public Interest at nutritionpolicy@cspinet.org