The School Day Just Got Healthier! A USDA Initiative

Healthy Food Choices in Schools April 22, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

According to Bill Ayres, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WhyHunger, “Many children eat half their calories at school lunch and breakfast -- improving school meals is the best opportunity we have to reverse the steady march towards obesity and an early death for our children and grandchildren.” 

The School Day Just Got Healthier logo

In an effort to face childhood obesity head-on, the USDA created this program designed to assist individuals involved in all levels of school food from cooking to eating promoting healthy eating while abiding by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) must follow these guidelines.  The School Day Just Got Healthier program aims to spread awareness and initiate actions help schools healthfully adjust to the changes.

The objective of the School Day Just Got Healthier is to provide children with more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk while lowering sodium and fat intake. Eating nutrient-dense meals in school has been linked to many positive outcomes for students, including better academic performance and increased attention, and reducing calories and sugars in school meals can help students avoid the afternoon “crash” (2).


Contributors 

Sarina Kumar and Katherine Baildon, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs 

Sources 

USDA Food and Nutrition Service - The School Day Just Got Healthier

WhyHunger. - The School Day Just Got Healthier: Saving our Children's Lives

For More Information

The School Day Just Got Healthier Tool Kit

The School Day Just Got Healthier Fact Sheet


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.