USDA Proposes School Snack Reform

The US Department of Agriculture, as part of their ongoing campaign to emphasize healthy eating, is proposing a major reform of the food sold in American schools.

For the past several years, the USDA and members of the Obama White House have pushed and advocated for healthier eating practices. First Lady Michelle Obama, for example, has encouraged kids to eat better and get more exercise, even going as far as to plant an organic garden at the White House. The USDA has promoted eating local produce as a way to boost local economies and improve eating habits.

The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act gave the USDA power to set nutritional standards in public schools. As part of this regulatory power, the USDA is proposing stricter standards on what can and can’t be sold in school vending machines and cafeterias.

“Parents and teachers work hard to instill healthy eating habits in our kids, and these efforts should be supported when kids walk through the schoolhouse door,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Good nutrition lays the groundwork for good health and academic success. Providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will complement the gains made with the new, healthy standards for school breakfast and lunch so the healthy choice is the easy choice for our kids.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer