The USDA’s Child Nutrition Act is up for re-authorization this year. The program provides food to more than 31M school children through the National School Lunch Program as well as 11M that qualify for the School Breakfast Program. Many children get ½ of their daily calories at schools- making this program a great leverage point to improve nutrition for kids by placing more rigorous nutrition standards on the foods that are served in the program.
The Institute of Medicine published a book recently that makes recommendations that would improve the nutritional value of the meals. The federal Executive budget proposes improving the quality of school meals and make sure schools have the resources they need to make changes. I’m going to DC this week to meet with the staff from some of the AZ delegation about a variety of public health issues- but one of the things I will be emphasizing (along with SNAP Reform)- will be the importance of placing better nutritional criteria on this important child nutrition program.