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Back to School: Let Kids be Healthy for Good

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Back to School: Let Kids be Healthy for Good

It’s back-to-school time! Children and parents across the country are stocking up on pencils and searching for the perfect backpack. But as kids return to school, what kind of food will cafeterias be dishing up for breakfast and lunch?

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School nutrition standards have been around since the Truman administration. And since 2012, schools have made significant efforts to align their menus with the latest nutrition science. We’re proud of that progress. But unfortunately, some of it was reversed in December 2018 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made a misguided decision to roll back sodium and whole grains targets, potentially putting children’s health at risk.

The rollbacks stopped progress in sodium reduction, locking in unhealthy levels of sodium allowed in school meals. And now, only half of grain products served must be rich in whole grains – previously, this requirement applied to all grain foods. These setbacks are happening despite the fact that 90% of school-age children eat more than the daily recommended amount of sodium and one-third of children are overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. We need to be making school lunches more nutritious, not less.

We can’t let this attack on our children’s health stand. We need to do something about it! Luckily, there is something quick and easy you can do to help.

Congress is considering the Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation (CNR), which has a big impact on what our kids eat in school. Through the CNR, members of Congress have a chance to correct the USDA’s mistake by strengthening nutrition standards for school meals. But they need to hear from us about how much it matters.

It takes just 30 seconds to sign our petition urging Congress to strengthen and protect school meal nutrition standards.

Let’s give all children a fighting chance to reach their full potential and be Healthy for Good.