First-ever census reveals growing popularity of Farm to School program

November 13, 2013

By Tim Carman More than 40 percent of the U.S. public school districts that responded to a historic census said they were participating in a program that helps bring fresh, local produce to school cafeterias. The percentage of participating schools was even higher in Maryland, Virginia, and the District, where the program has taken deep root. […]

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Improving school lunch by design

November 4, 2013

By Courtney E. Martin What if the secret to getting kids to eat healthier is to stop focusing on food? In spring 2013, the San Francisco Unified School District (S.F.U.S.D.) began a five-month collaboration with the design firm IDEO to re-imagine the school food system. This effort might not sound unique. Childhood obesity has become […]

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Cafeteria debit cards tied to unhealthy school lunches: Why paying with plastic could be hurting kids

October 21, 2013

By Chris Weller Dropping a handful of quarters into the waiting palm of a lunch lady is quickly getting replaced by rapid, blurry swipes of a debit card, and the proliferation in cafeterias around the country has two researchers pushing for greater monitoring of children’s unhealthy spending habits. Cornell University behavioral economists David Just and Brian […]

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USDA: Small number of schools drop out of federal lunch program due to healthier requirements

October 11, 2013

By Mary Clare Jalonick The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says 524 schools — out of about 100,000 — have dropped out of the federally subsidized national school lunch program since the government introduced new standards for healthier foods last year. The new standards have been met with grumbling from school nutrition officials who say […]

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School meals face rules on fat, meat, veggies – but no limits on sugar

October 10, 2013

By Eleanor Yang Su Almost everything about a school cafeteria meal has a regulation. The federal government caps the amount of fat and salt in breakfasts and lunches. It sets minimum standards for servings of fruit, vegetables, grains, milk, and meat. But one widely used and often-overused product has no official limits: sugar. As Congress […]

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School cafeterias, vending machines trading sugar, fat for more healthful fare

October 7, 2013

By Lenny Bernstein Any parent who has fixed a nutritious school lunch only to find it untouched in a backpack the next morning will be heartened by new federal rules that will take effect in schools nationwide in the fall of 2014. That’s when laws will require school vending machines, stores and “a la carte” […]

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NYC school lunch menus serve up healthy eats

September 9, 2013

By Kevin Zimmerman When New York City children shuffle into the cafeteria on Sept. 9 most probably won’t notice any changes at that first back-to-school lunch until they roll their trays up to the cash register. For kids who pay for the mid-day meal, the price jumps up a quarter. But those children who qualify […]

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Fast food: Students struggle with healthy options in short lunch periods

September 5, 2013

By Joanna Lin The green beans are portioned and displayed in orderly rows. The lasagnas are steaming up their plastic covers. The workers stand ready, their hair netted and aprons tied. The bell rings, and a stream of nearly 1,000 students flood in to Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School’s cafeteria, barely slowing as they […]

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Some districts quit healthier school lunch program; kids turn up their noses at low-cal meals

September 3, 2013

After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money. Federal officials say they don’t have exact numbers but have seen isolated […]

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USDA awards contract to Chobani Greek yogurt for school lunch test

August 6, 2013

By Mark Weiner The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a contract to Chobani of Chenango County, N.Y., to supply four states with its Greek yogurt for a school lunch pilot program, according to members of New York’s congressional delegation. Earlier this month, the USDA gave its permission for New York, Arizona, Idaho, and Tennessee to test […]

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