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LiveWell with school lunches

by Cindy Campbell,
LiveWell Coordinator
HUERFANO — Students across the country will soon have access to healthier foods in their lunchrooms thanks to new USDA school meal nutrition standards. These new standards are a great improvement in making school lunch healthier, which helps bring our kids the nutrition they need and deserve. This is the most significant nation-wide change to school meal nutrition standards in more than 15 years.
Starting next school year, the changes for school lunch include :
• Increasing fruit and vegetable servings,
• Increasing the variety of vegetables,
• Setting standards for sodium, trans fat and whole grains;
• Establishing maximum calorie limits; and
• Requiring all milk to be low-fat or fat-free (and flavored milk to be fat-free).
These changes will help address our state’s growing childhood obesity epidemic – something that we can’t ignore. The most recent data indicate that one quarter of our children are overweight or obese. Further, Colorado has the second- fastest growing childhood obesity rate in the country, recently dropping from third leanest to 23rd in the country over a matter of a few years.
While obesity is a complex problem that belongs to all of us, our schools certainly play an important role in providing nutrition to our children. Although meeting these standards will not be easy to implement for many schools, the changes are a big step towards reversing our state’s startling childhood obesity trends. For more information, go to http://about.livewellcolorado.org/resource-toolbox/k-12-schools/k-12-schools or call Cindy at 738-5200.