Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids: 4 Actions Schools Can Take Now
December 16, 2010
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a huge victory in the battle of simultaneous epidemics of childhood obesity and childhood hunger in America. Schools, you will see the major impact of this law in the nutritional quality of all foods at school, and here are 4 actions you can take now.
Action 1. Complete the HealthierUS School Challenge Checklist.
- This will assess how you’re meeting current school meal standards and competitive food guidelines. When USDA sets the new national nutrition standards for 1) healthier school meals and 2) for all food sold on school grounds, you’ll already know where your school started, and what action to take first.
Action 2. Explore school garden possibilities for your particular school and community.
- The law provides funding for connecting more children to healthy produce from school gardens and local farms. It will also help communities establish farm to school networks, so those local foods can be used in school cafeterias! Imagine the learning opportunities!
Action 3. Support your school food service directors, managers, and staff
- Find ways to improve their skills through training and technical assistance. While the law will establish professional standards and provide training opportunities in the future, be sure your staff are aware of the changes and ready to improve their skills now.
Action 4. Gather the School Health Team and revisit the wellness policies.
- The nutrition promotion, nutrition education, and physical activity policies will need to meet new basic standards, and new goals. School districts will be audited every 3 years to improve compliance with new nutritional standards for all foods at school.
Additionally, here are some helpful resources about the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act:
- A Child Nutrition Fact Sheet http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Child_Nutrition_Fact_Sheet_12_10_10.pdf
- A Sample School Lunch Menu http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/cnr_chart.pdf
- A Side-by-side Comparison of S.3307 and the White House Task Force Report on Childhood Obesity http://ag.senate.gov/site/ComLeg/task%20force%20side-by-side.pdf