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School Lunch Menus Get Healthier

school lunch program
Flickr user | USDAgov

School lunches are about to get healthier.

Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama announced new nutrition standards that include a wider selection of fruits and vegetables and less sodium and calories in the meals.

Dr. Felicia Stoler with the New Jersey Dietetic Association says the changes are a terrific step forward.  “They are offering more whole grain foods and offering only fat free or low fat dairy products, which I think is a really great accomplishment.”

What will the menu look like?  French fries will be less salty or sweet potato fries will be a substitute, pizza will have a wheat crust and all milk, including flavored milk will be low in fat.

Stoler says although its only one meal out of three that will have a healthy guideline, the school lunch should go a long way in helping combat the problem of childhood obesity.

“Its one meal during that day that children will have that is low in calories and low in fat…but parents need to continue that trend at home…breakfast and dinner need to be healthy meals as well.”

The changes will cost $3.2 billion over the next five years but schools will get some help with those costs from the federal government.

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