October Festival Guide

Junking the bad food, introducing new USDA school nutrition standards

RICHMOND, Va. –A federal initiative that impacts schools locally, regionally and nationally will affect school nutrition standards at your child’s school.

When the school doors open, and the lunch bell finally rings, students will see a big change in the food options provided; from vending machine snacks to what’s on their tray.

Now only more healthy options are allowed.

Mom Holly Baldwin is thrilled about new USA snack food standards.

“Personally I want my son to have healthy choices. He loves veggies and fruits and I want him to continue that,” Baldwin said. “If he doesn’t have those choices available to him, he can’t.”

The new standards put limits on how much sodium, sugar and fat can be contained in foods kids eat during school hours.

It even restricts candy and baked goods fundraisers during school hours.  Groups are allowed to sell those goods off campus and after the school day is over.

Education expert Dr. Bill Boshers said that while the goal is to make sure the healthiest options are offered, there could be unintended results — possibly a decrease in school lunch participants.

“Because if a young person goes home and says ‘mom I don’t like anything they have and give me a bag lunch,’ then what that does is relegate the program to a smaller group and a higher cost,” Bosher said.

Either way, some students said that as long as what they can eat tastes good, they don’t mind a bit.

“Some children might be mad,” said Emanual Waller, a L.C. Bird student-athlete. “The ones that like to eat junk food, but I’m not one of those kids, so it doesn’t matter to me.”

 

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