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The School Day Just Got Healthier! Hear from Chef Kass about School Meals

During this school year, schools across America will begin implementing new federal standards to improve the lunches that 32 million children eat each day. Kids may consume up to half their calories in schools, so we must work together to make the school day healthier with more nutritious food, more physical activity, and nutrition education. This groundbreaking legislation is a win for America’s kids and parents! The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act provides assurance to parents that our kids are getting the same kind of balance and nutrition  in the cafeteria that they get at home.

Hear from Chef Kass  --  Join the webinar!
On Thursday, August 16, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (CDT), join the Back-to-School Campaign webinar to learn more about the great changes being implemented in school cafeterias across the country. Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, will join us to provide an overview of the changes to school meals.

The session is available via Microsoft Office LiveMeeting, and is free to all participants. A phone line and a computer with internet access is necessary. You can register for the event here. The session will be recorded and posted online at a later date on the USDA FNS Webinar Library

What’s new about school meals:
The new standards, mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, align school meals with recommendations from the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Meals now provide fruits and vegetables every day of the week, substantially more whole grain-rich foods and only fat-free or low-fat milk. To ensure proper portion size, calories will be based on the age of children served, with an increased focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans-fats and sodium.  In addition to the new meals standards, other improvements also meet the challenge of providing healthier meals, including: 

  • Increased funding for schools – the first real increase in 30 years – tied to strong performance in serving improved meals. Schools must be approved by their certifying state as having met standards to receive this increase.
  • Common-sense standards for the revenue provided to school food authorities from non-federal sources, to ensure that these revenues keep pace with the federal commitment to healthy school meals and properly align with costs.
  • Training and technical assistance to help schools achieve and monitor compliance.

 Learn more about the Healthier School Day.

Marissa Duswalt, Let's Move! Associate Director of Policy and Events