Sept. 14, 2013,
By Bob Jamieson
Cornell University experts have found ways to get America’s school kids to eat healthier school lunches.
They say their techniques are low cost, even no cost, and nudge students to more nutritious offerings by manipulating the lunchroom environment.
“A lot of our work is experimental. We will actually go out in the field and run experiments in schools to see what will happen,” said David Just, associate professor and co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. Continue reading
Sept. 5, 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 for reduced-cost meals will see their tabs fall from 25 cents to nothing.
“Two things are happening,” said Eric Goldstein, CEO of School Support Services. “We used to have paid, reduced and free lunches. Now we’ll just have paid and free. And for kids who pay, the cost is going from $1.50 to $1.75.” Continue reading
Aug. 28, 2013,
NBC Bay Area
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 load cardboard trays with apple juice, chicken wings, and sliced cucumbers.
Because lunch is free for all students at Bravo, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, no one pauses to pay. Still, during the lunch rush this day in May, food service worker Rodelinda Gomez stops a few.
“Hey! Hey!” Gomez hollers to students with no greens on their trays. “Come on and get your vegetables. You have to get them!” Continue reading
Aug. 27, 2013,
The Washington Post
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 reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food.
Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry. Continue reading
July 26, 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 Greek yogurt as a meat alternative in subsidized school lunches this school year. On July 29, Chobani was selected as the winning bidder to supply the yogurt. Continue reading
July 23, 2013,
Twin Cities Daily Planet
By Margo Ashmore
“My son ate broccoli and carrots for the first time, seeing his peers do it. And the ranch dressing helped,” said Andrea Worsfeld, picnicking at Jackson Square Park [in Minneapolis, Minn.] with her 2-year-old son, his 6-week-old sibling, and another mother and her children. They’d come for swimming, but stumbled upon the free meals for kids offered from the Minneapolis Public Schools food truck.
Elijah Dodds and Bobbi Varichak, who staff the food truck, said they served 54 lunches on July 11. “The kids run to the truck when it comes,” Varichak said. “They are very thankful, they always say thank you.” Continue reading
June 27, 2013,
USDA Office of Communications
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on June 27 that under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, America’s students will be offered healthier food options during the school day.
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.”
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools — beyond the federally-supported meals programs. The “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards…reflect USDA’s thoughtful consideration and response to the nearly 250,000 comments received on the proposal earlier this year. Continue reading
May 3, 2013,
By Joyce Frieden
Children who pre-ordered their school lunches are more likely to choose healthy foods than children who made spontaneous lunch choices, a small study found.
“When students did not order but instead selected their entrée as they entered the lunch line, it appears that hunger-based, spontaneous selection diminished healthy entrée selection by 48 percent and increased less healthy entrée selection by 21 percent,” Andrew Hanks, Ph.D., of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and colleagues reported in a research letter published online in JAMA Pediatrics in conjunction with the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. Continue reading
April 2, 2013,
NPR [The Salt Blog]
By Kevin Charles Redmond
Gone are the days of serving up tater tots and French toast sticks to students. Here are the days of carrot sticks and quinoa.
New nutritional guidelines announced in 2012 require public school lunchrooms to offer more whole grains, low-fat milk, and fewer starchy sides like french fries. But short of stationing grandmothers in every cafeteria, how do you ensure that students actually eat the fruits and veggies they’re being offered?
A minor lunchroom makeover could make a big difference, says Andrew Hanks, a behavioral economist at Cornell University. Continue reading