After months of food fights about things like tater tots and chocolate milk, the USDA has announced the first major changes in school meals in 15 years.The new guidelines include less sodium, more whole grains, and a wider selection of fruits and vegetables, and aim to fight the childhood obesity crisis.
Here’s an example of a new elementary school lunch: whole-wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, a whole-wheat roll, a vegetable mix of green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower, kiwi halves, low-fat milk, low-fat ranch dip, and soft margarine.
That would replace a current meal of a hot dog on a bun with ketchup, canned pears, raw celery and carrots with ranch dressing, and low-fat chocolate milk.
Cafeterias will start serving the new lunches during the 2012-13 school year.
I’m guessing it will take years to see how these changes will affect childhood obesity, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.