Smart Woman: Better School Meals

Published 03/05 2014 05:42PM

Updated 03/05 2014 05:49PM

Schoolchildren are eating more fruits and vegetables under the new school lunch program, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 

When children started school in the fall of 2012, they found their cafeterias' serving more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  The healthier foods were the result of changes to the National School Lunch Program made under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

But critics complained about the menu changes and said too much food was being wasted. This study found that kids were actually eating better and not throwing away any more food than before.

Under the new program children are now required to choose either a fruit or vegetable as part of their meal and the portion sizes for these items are larger.

About 25% more children are now eating fruit and vegetable consumption is up about one cup per week. 

Schoolchildren still leave far too much uneaten food on their plates. Additional strategies are needed to provide high quality meals that children will eat.   

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