First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled new plans for the national lunch program today during a speech in Fairfax, Virginia.
The First Lady was joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at Parklawn Elementary School for the announcement.
As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the new program is the biggest change in to school lunch standards in 15 years.
As parents, we try to prepare decent meals, limit how much junk food our kids eat, and ensure they have a reasonably balanced diet. And when we're putting in all that effort the last thing we want is for our hard work to be undone each day in the school cafeteria. When we send our kids to school, we expect that they won't be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we try to keep them from eating at home. We want the food they get at school to be the same kind of food we would serve at our own kitchen tables.
Sample lunch menus are available to illustrate the changes day-to-day in food served.
More whole grains, an increase in fruit and vegetable offerings, practicing portion control, and limiting high-fat foods are all changes coming to students' lunch trays.
The program will begin in the 2012-2013 school year and ramp up over three years.
- USDA Unveils Historic Improvements to Meals Served in America's Schools (USDA)
- Nutrition Standards for School Meals (USDA)