The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act passed this December and with it, new regulations for school lunches. The most important aspect of the bill is that it provides the first non-inflationary increase to school lunch spending since 1973. The bill allocates $4.5 billion for school lunches, an increase of about 6 cents per child. The bill also includes nutrition guidelines for school lunches. Those proposed regulations are being outlined by the USDA, all in an effort to curb childhood obesity and childhood hunger at once.
New regulations will include more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat free and low fat milk, and a reduction in the sodium content of food overtime. The key is an increase in availability of healthy foods in a learning environment.
According to the Federal Register:
Three areas addressed by the advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines that may have significant impact on the meal requirements are sodium, saturated fat, and vegetable subgroups. The ''Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010'' (which precedes the release of the Dietary Guidelines' policy) recommends:
- Lower saturated fat consumption
- Lower sodium consumption
- A new red/orange vegetable subgroup.