Nutritious school meals keep students healthy and ready to learn.
It’s hard to believe the start of the school year is right around the corner. It feels like just yesterday the final bell rang, and students exchanged their pens and pencils for swim trunks and sunglasses. But it’s time for students, teachers and other school staff to get ready for the year ahead, and that includes school nutrition professionals who will soon be tasked with serving healthy school meals to over 30 million students nationwide.
This past year, America’s school nutrition professionals did some phenomenal work, and I look forward to picking up right where we left off. Today, more than 96 percent of schools are successfully meeting the updated meal standards, serving healthy meals approved by nutritionists and students alike. A recent study found that kids are now eating 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit at school — not to mention more whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein, than they were before the new meal standards. I’m certain that through continued collaboration with our partners and food professionals, this school year will bring even more progress toward a healthier, hunger-free generation. Read more »
MyPlate is the perfect teaching tool for nutrition education! Discover classroom materials at ChooseMyPlate.gov and from Team Nutrition.
In honor of National Nutrition Month®, MyPlate is sharing resources to help you bite into a healthy lifestyle everywhere you go! This blog highlights resources for encouraging a healthy lifestyle in the classroom. Learn about healthy eating at home, work, and throughout the community here.
Virginia Beach, VA, a Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties site, displays MyPlate to promote healthy eating and active living as part of the Mayor’s Action Challenge efforts.
In honor of National Nutrition Month®, MyPlate is sharing resources to help you bite into a healthy lifestyle everywhere you go! This blog highlights resources for encouraging a healthy lifestyle within your community. Learn about healthy eating at home and at work here.
There are many ways to engage a community in healthy eating! Create a community garden, start a cooking club, offer nutrition classes . . . the list goes on and on. During National Nutrition Month® and throughout the year, find a variety of ways to lead your community into a healthier future with MyPlate. Read more »
Practice healthy habits at work! Throughout the work day, find ways to eat healthy and be active. Whether you pack your lunch or grab takeout, make half your plate fruits and vegetables and choose whole-grain when available. Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as low-fat yogurt, a trail mix of dried fruit and unsalted nuts, or hummus dip and veggies, to help you resist the office candy bowl when hunger strikes. It’s also important to make time to be active, especially if you spend most of the workday seated at a desk. Take activity breaks or schedule walking meetings with your colleagues. Healthy choices like these will keep you energized and able to put your best foot forward. Read more »
Make meal time a family time by focusing on the meal and each other.
In honor of National Nutrition Month®, MyPlate is sharing resources to help you bite into a healthy lifestyle everywhere you go! This blog highlights resources related to healthy eating at home.
Whether you are just beginning to grow your family, raising “tweens”, or keeping in touch with loved ones far away, family is the focus at home. MyPlate can help keep your family healthy with a variety of resources.
The Healthy Eating on a Budget section of ChooseMyPlate.gov offers information on meal planning, smart shopping ideas, and tips for creating healthy meals at home. When cooking at home, you can often make better choices about what and how much you eat and drink. Cooking also can be a fun activity and way for you to spend time with family and friends. To find free family-friendly recipes that will help you stay within your budget while cooking at home, check out What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. Read more »
Feeding students healthy, tasty and nutritious school meals can be a challenge. Just ask any one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals who carry out the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. They have to balance menu planning following nutrition standards, financial management, and inventory management, all while making meals that will be enjoyed by students – not always an easy audience. It is a testament to their dedication that over 90 percent of America’s schools have now implemented the improved standards found in the Healthy Hungry Free Kids Act of 2010.
USDA is working hard to find ways to continue to support their efforts. One way we are doing that is a new program that we recently piloted in Mississippi that provides free training through a partnership with the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI). The Team Up For School Nutrition Success Training (Team Up) is tailored to schools and covers topics like menu planning, financial management, procurement, meal presentation and appeal, as well as youth engagement tactics, and strategies to reduce plate waste.
Another partner in this initiative is First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama is grateful for the hard work being done in our country’s school cafeterias, but also recognizes that some may need a little help. When she heard about our initiative, she took the time to make a video to not only thank and encourage the dedicated school food service professional around the country, but to encourage them to take advantage of Team Up. Hear with the First Lady had to say about Team Up: