USDA Enforces Schools to Serve Healthy Snacks

USDA Enforces Schools to Serve Healthy Snacks

As of July, the USDA has announced the ban of unhealthy snacks in schools. The program, Smart Snacks in School, was implemented in 2014, but it was enforced this year. Instead of selling junk food in schools, healthy options will be in place.

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According to USDA Deputy Katie Wilson, “Education and wellness and advertising to kids about healthier choices [and] that all has to be part of the school environment just like making sure they have pencils and paper and computers.” This new program is a bold move as obesity is on the rise amongst children.

Besides offering healthy snacks, advertisements marketed to children will be integrated. Such ads will be placed on vending machines to entice healthy eating. A study found in the Journals of the American Medical Association Pediatrics shows that about 70 percent of children that were exposed to advertising were more likely to eat unhealthy due to it. The USDA is hoping that they can push for a healthier lifestyle when they use promotions featuring clean food.

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This new enforcement meets the Hunger-Free Kids Act which was pushed by First Lady Michelle Obama. The Act settled standards on food that’s offered by schools. It highlights whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Smart Snacks in School is a program that is pushed amongst the Act. It required schools to sell food with an at least ¼ cup of vegetables and/or fruits, whole grains, or “have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food.” Amidst that, the standards include a standard for maximum sodium, calories, sugar, and fat.

Source: Organic Authority