3 mins read

School Lunches Are Getting Healthier—The Facts

Emily Turner
More than 30 million American children eat school lunches each day—a fact parents can feel good about. These tasty meals are healthier than ever before and help kids develop sound nutrition and eating habits.

See what’s changed in this video. Then, go eat lunch at your child’s school and tell school leaders that you support their work to improve kids’ health. Find out how here: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/news/2015/02/20/how-to-support-kids-nutrition-in-your-childs-school

Learn more at www.healthyschoolfoodsnow.org.


Do you know what your kid is having for lunch today? Is it healthy?

If they’re eating a school lunch, chances are, the answer is yes.

Just after World War II, in 1946, our country launched the National School Lunch Program to ensure that every kid in America could have at least one nutritious meal each day.

Our leaders back then—and in the decades since—understood that our nation is stronger when our kids grow up healthy and able to learn.

Today, about 95 percent of public schools participate in the lunch program, and they feed more than 30 million children every day.

These lunches have always had to meet national standards, which have been updated through the years to reflect new facts about kids’ nutrition and health.

Today, we know that more than a third of teen-agers say they eat less than one fruit or vegetable per day.

One in three American kids is overweight. And one in six is obese. Among African American and Hispanic children, the rate is even higher.

And illnesses once unheard of in children, like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are increasingly common among kids.

The current school lunch standards require more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein while limiting excess fat, calories, and salt.

Schools are changing their menus to provide delicious and healthier options, and you can help them succeed.

Go eat lunch at your child’s school and see what’s changing.

Tell school leaders you support the steps they’re taking to help kids grow up healthy.

Visit healthyschoolfoodsnow.org for resources you can share with your school and others to keep the momentum going.

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