The Child Nutrition bill passed 264-157 by the House of Representatives Thursday includes several provisions to make school meals healthier and safer.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, had already cleared the Senate by unanimous consent and now goes to President Obama.

While the primary thrust of the measure is to make more school breakfasts, lunches and after-school meals available, it also sets new nutrition guidelines and aims to make it easier for schools to buy locally grown produce.

Schools that meet the recommended nutrition standards, which call for more servings of vegetables and whole grains, would get a modest increase in the government school-meal subsidy. 

The measure dedicates $4.5 billion over the next decade to try to improve school meals as well as cut down on some of the junk food available to students, giving the Department of Agriculture authority for the first time to bar foods that do not meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  The legislation also calls for regulators to alert schools more quickly in the event of food recalls and provides additional food-safety training for lunchroom food handlers.

  • Frankie

    Great news! I run a fitness boot camp for teens with eating disorders with a nutrition programme that educates kids about healthy fats.Vegetables and whole grains are great too but America really needs to look at the consumption too many trans fats,saturated fats and the huge imbalance of omega 6 in diets without countering with omega 3. The lack of omega 3 is ahuge concern for those of us working with teenage depression,behaviour disorders and morbid obesity. The fast food industry’s use of cheap hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils is creating a major public health issue for all.Fat is an essential ingredient in the human diet as you can’t rebuild or create new cells without it.Low activity levels in teenagers is often caused by bad fats congesting myelin,oreventing those twitch muscles from getting the kid moving. Low fat consumption is not the answer,or radical surgeries that limit food intake.The good fats need to be part of a school nutrition programme with omega 3 and vitamin D supplementation in grain products considered.