Monday, April 24, 2017

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act


New federal legislation known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has brought about many changes to the school lunch and breakfast programs, and these changes will continue over the next few years. Children cannot reach full academic potential without proper nutrition. Research shows that school meals are a far superior source of nutrition than other foods obtained throughout the school day, which the new and improved meal standards completely support.


The following are a few of the changes to school meals as the result of this new law. Students must be offered five components in a school lunch, and must take three of the five components:


  1. Meat/Meat Alternative
  2. Bread/Grain
  3. Vegetable
  4. Fruit
  5. Milk

Students are to be offered larger portions of fruits and vegetables than in the past.


Students must take at least 1/2 cup serving of the fruit or vegetable component each day.


No more than half of fruit offerings may be in the form of juice. All juice offered must be 100% juice only.


Students must be offered a variety of different categories of vegetables each week:


  • Dark Green (e.g., broccoli, collard greens, spinach)
  • Red/Orange (e.g., carrots, sweet potatoes)
  • Beans/Peas (Legumes) (e.g., kidney beans, lentils)
  • Starchy (e.g., corn, green peas, white potatoes)
  • Other (e.g., onions, green beans, cucumbers)

At least half of the grains must be whole grain-rich beginning July 1, 2012. Beginning July 1, 2014, all grains must be whole grain rich.


A school lunch must include a specific number of calories based on a student's age/grade. This includes a minimum and a maximum number of calories.


School meals must be set targets (not to exceed) for sodium in school meals.


Saturated fat cannot account for more than 10% of the calories of any school meal.


School meals cannot contain any trans fat.


The new law also provides additional regulation regarding the price of school meals. As a result, Bear Creek Community Charter School was required to increase the cost of a school lunch by ten cents for the 2012-2013 school year.


Learn more about the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/cnr_2010.htm