Regardless of congress saying that pizza is a vegetable, school cafeterias have won pretty big this past year in favor of healthier and better meals for kids.
Here's some of the stuff we like to think is pretty victorious:
• Double the overall fruits and vegetables each day at school meals, with specific requirements for each
• Specific requirements for good veggies like leafy greens and orange veg
• Milk has to be low-fat, and only skim milk can be chocolate
• Access to clean, free drinking water
• More whole grains
• Limits on calories, sodium, saturated fat, and trans fats
• 6 cents more funding per meal – while not enough, it’s the first increase in 30 years
• Vital information about school menus must by law be easily accessible to parents and the community
• Stronger Local School Wellness Policies, with required public input and a real implementation plan
• For the first time, baseline standards for all foods sold in schools, including chips in vending machines, candy at school stores, and sugary drinks in “a la carte” lunch lines.
• Easier sign-up for families eligible for free and reduced school meals
• More Farm to School, school garden, school breakfast, and local sourcing programs, plus an organic food pilot with preference for low-income districts
• Districts can no longer use federal meal funding to subsidize junk food or undercharge paying customers
• Better oversight that schools are meeting the rules, including audits every 3 years
See? That's a lot more than you thought, isn't it??
Just because people have lost their minds with outrage that pizza is considered a vegetable (why can't we just go ahead and think of it as an unhealthy vegetable? do all vegetables HAVE to be healthy to be called a vegetable by definition??), doesn't mean that other areas of reform weren't a success in being implemented!
Hopefully this leads to healthier, less obese kids!
[Image via AP Images.]