Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated nutrition standards for public school breakfasts and lunches in Alaska and nationwide for the first time in fifteen years. This is the first step in a series of policy moves. Within months, the USDA plans to implement a proposal sponsored by Senator Murkowski and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that raises standards for foods and beverages sold outside of cafeterias during the school day, like vending machines and school stores.
"Across the country in America's public schools, we update our textbooks when we get better, stronger information. Today's move does the same thing for our children's bodies as it does for their minds: provide them the best we can for mental and physical health."
The policy implemented today will result in healthier school breakfast and lunch meals for 32 million children across the country by:
Increasing offerings of fruits, veggies, and whole grains;
Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk; and
Limiting calories and reducing saturated fats, trans fats and sodium