Instilling Healthy Eating Habits
School children will get a pleasant and, perhaps for some, a not so pleasant surprise when they head back to school come fall. Healthier snacks will be made available during the school day as part of the USDA’s implementation of the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010; a law that is meant to help address the ever growing problem of childhood obesity in our country. These new guidelines are slated to go into effect this fall with healthier, leaner, nutrient packed choices to replace junk foods in vending machines and at snack bars. Sports drinks will have to be reduced calorie, snacks will have to come in at 200 calories or less, and empty calorie snacks will be a thing of the past. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that they wanted to make the healthy choice, the easy choice, but also made note of the fact that the new standards will still preserve flexibility for time honored traditions like fundraisers, bakes sales, and parent hosted classroom parties. Many nutritionists and school food service staff applaud the new standards, stating that it’s the obvious and needed next step in the ongoing movement to instill healthy eating habits in students.