New School Lunch Standards

If you've ever heard the saying "Eat the Rainbow", it's a simple reminder to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each day.  Eating food of different colors is an easy way to get all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber our bodies need.  Limiting fats, sugar and salt reduces the risk of weight gain, and poor health.  As a general rule, make fruits and vegetables part of a healthy plate every day and eat less, fat, sugar and salt.

School-aged children across the nation have the option to eat the rainbow and eat healthier as a result of new school lunch standards.  The final standards include the following:
  • Fruits and vegetables served each day.
  • More whole grain foods.
  • Serving fat-free and low-fat milk.
  • Child-sized portions.
  • Less fat and salt in school meals.
The new standards will effect school breakfast, lunch and vending machines.  The standards first went into effect July 1, 2012 and schools were given three years to phase-in the changes, starting with the 2012-2013 school year.  These new school meal standards will greatly impact the health and nutrition of school children across the nation.  Parents can get involved by reading the school lunch menu with their kids and talking about the healthy foods listed.  Parents will also play an important role in this national effort as role models.  Set an example for your children and show them the importance of eating the rainbow!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall