With so much going on in the world of school food and nutrition I thought I’d share some of the headlines from the past few weeks that jumped out at me. If you have a news item you would like to share, please leave it in the comments section!
New Dietary Guidelines: Enjoy Food, Eat Less: In January, the USDA released new dietary guidelines for Americans. Suggestions include making half the plate fruits & veggies, replacing full-fat milk with fat-free or low-fat options, and reducing consumption of saturated fats to under 10% of total calories.
What I find fascinating are the implications for food organizations. You’ll notice in the above article that organizations such as the United Fresh Produce Association and the American Meat Institute have weighed in with their reactions, largely positive. However, changes to dietary and nutrition guidelines are not always met with positive feedback. Proposed changes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program have prompted the Idaho Potato Commission to raise some concerns of their own regarding the suggestion to limit potato servings in school meals.
One of the biggest stories of the last week was the announcement that Chicago Public Schools will be implementing universal, in-classroom breakfast … for ALL of its 410,000 students! That is a LOT of school breakfasts! $41 million worth, to be exact. There is a conversation going on about this at The Lunch Tray blog. You can read some parental reactions to the announcement at the CBS Chicago.com website.
The Better D.C. School Food Blog is reporting a 29% increase in breakfast participation since adopting an in-classroom breakfast. That translates to 5,900 additional students eating breakfast at school in the morning. Amazing! The D.C. Food for All website expands on the numbers and what they mean. You don’t want to miss this story about Kimball Elementary and what school breakfast is doing for its students.
This story out of Binghamton, NY shows what a positive impact universal, in-classroom breakfast is having in Upstate NY.
And it’s not just in the U.S—our neighbors to the North (that’s Canada folks!) are also exploring the implications of in-classroom breakfast. I love this short piece from the Winnipeg Foundation about how taking just a few moments for breakfast at school in the morning is nourishing students, literally and figuratively.
Finally – we’re in the news! Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom have been getting shout-outs: Prince George’s county (DC) at Gazette.net and Better D.C. School Food, and Little Rock (AR) at Examiner.net.