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Thanks for Making the #AskUSDA School Meals Chat a Success!

Today I hosted my very first twitter chat.  Seeing all the conversations fly by in real-time on Tweetdeck was overwhelming at first but I quickly got the hang of it.  I was happy to see so many tweeters send questions to our @USDA Twitter account for me to answer. I really hope that the chat was informative and interesting to all of you who participated.  It certainly was for me!

As a mom, grandmother and someone who spent many valuable years working in schools, I understand—first-hand—the great feedback that people provided. There are challenges in meeting the needs of growing children, and I believe the improvements we’ve made to school meals will go a long way toward meeting those challenges. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do so far.

If you didn’t participate in the chat today don’t worry—there will be a lot more opportunities to connect with us. In fact, you should check back here on the USDA blog in the coming days, as we’ll be sharing more insights, information and resources based upon your comments and requests from the Twitter chat. We’ll also be doing a series of blog posts over the next few weeks to talk more about the great improvements USDA has made to school meals.

This is really just the beginning of what we’re doing to help you understand how the school day just got healthier. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts as we go along. To find out more about what USDA is doing to make the school day healthier please visit our Healthier School Day web site.

The school day just got healthier! For more information on changes to school meals this school year, be sure to stop by our website at And for a full transcript of the Healthier School Day Virtual Office Hours, be sure to visit USDA’s Storify page!

8 Responses to “Thanks for Making the #AskUSDA School Meals Chat a Success!”

  1. Janet O'Dell says:

    Excellent way to teach children how to eat healthier and be healthier. The best place to learn is in school!

  2. Dennis S says:

    Healthier eating is great, but we need to still allow flexibility for kids with different caloric needs. Some people have high metabolisms and lets remember that some kids are active in school athletics and maybe even are physically active at home(ie. mow yards, take care of livestock, etc.). The caloric and protein needs are highly different from someone who is sedentary and have low metabolisms. Four chicken nuggets isn’t going to sustain an active high school senior boy with even normal metabolism. There are kids eating school lunches AND bringing a lunch with them to get through the day. Please look at this initiative again.

  3. Debbie says:

    I don’t know how many times I have heard how children are fat or overweight because of school lunches. I would personally like to say that is completely absurd. Kids are fat and obese because they are inactive or lazy. Allowing a child to play video games or use the computer for hours each day only contibutes to the problem. Turn off the TV and show them how to use their imaginations playing with other kids. It doesn’t even matter if they are inside or outdoors, just get them moving. The average child doesn’t need their portions rationed to them like prisoners they need encouraged to get moving. Please re-evaluate this initiative.

  4. Heather E. says:

    Yes, this is a wonderful idea to get kids to understand the value of eating properly and portion control. However, the fact that 8th graders are receiving the same portion as my kindergartener is stunning. I have a 9 year old who can’t hardly get throught the day concentrating because he is starving. My child is extrememly active and requires more to eat that a 6 year old. The Jr. High students are throwing half of there food away and going to get chips/granola bars from a vending machine. You can lead a horse to water but that doesn’t mean he will drink it. This can work with some alterations. It can’t be a one size fits all package!

  5. james says:

    I’m a kid at my school and I find the food nasty.. like so bad I would rather starve myself. You ruined lunch of me. And your not helping control obesity. I’m 170 pounds, 5’8″, and I play football for my school every school day for at least two hours.. I’m not obese and I don’t need your help. I go home and eat double what I normally would because I don’t eat at school now.. I think your just making it worse.

  6. Linda says:

    I agree that children are not obese because of their school food program”. They are allowed to sit in front of. televisions, video games, and omputers. Get them outside playing. I work at the schools and watch kids throw out tray after tray of untouched food. The salad bars used to be wonderful with a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. I watched kids make beautiful salads. Now, they bypass the salad bar. Why make a salad when there’s no salad dressing, how ridiculous is that. The only way they get dressing is if they order a chef salad, but that has fat free which they won’t eat. I m diabetic and have to watch out for fat free because carbs are higher. Anyway, this whole program is not working. It’s only filling trash cans!

  7. Mike S says:

    You said “If they are still hungry, it’s that they are not eating all the food that’s being offered.” My daughter eats great, and thinks broccoli is a dessert. Unfortunately, her requests in the school lunch line for MORE vegetables and fruits are denied, so as not to exceed arbitrary caloric standards. She is offered chips as a “healthy snack” though. Transforming GUIDELINES into LIMITS and then ignoring cries of children going hungry does not show concern, but complete insolence and ingorance.

  8. Kathy says:

    I work in the school cafeteria and it has really gotten confusing with the different prices and portions. The school children have boycotted lunches which does not only hurt them but the employees who work in the cafeteria. Our employmebnt has suffered.

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