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Is healthy eating a new year’s resolution for USDA and school foods?

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Is healthy eating a new year’s resolution for USDA and school foods?

This post was written by Kristy Anderson, the American Heart Association's Senior Government Relations Advisor. Kristy is an expert in nutrition policy issues, and in today's post she shares information about an important issue.

As 2017 comes to a close, we know people are starting to think about eating better as part of their New Year’s resolutions. So, we wanted to update you on the latest actions being taken by the government that could impact your child’s nutrition. While so many of us are thinking about improving our diets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is unfortunately working to bring unhealthy foods to our children in schools.


As you recall, our current healthy school lunch law thrives. In fact, more than 99% of participating schools have been serving healthier foods. But despite years of successful implementation, in November the USDA re-opened the school foods nutrition standards. USDA plans to discard some of the current science-based nutrition standards and allow schools to serve meals with more sodium, fewer whole grains, and flavored milk with higher calories.

Just like you, the government needs to focus on healthy eating as a new year’s resolution. In January, we’ll be asking you to take action and contact USDA in support of keeping the current standards. In the meantime, learn about what your school district serves to students in your community. Most schools publish their school lunch menus online. 

To learn more about the school meals program, check out one of our previous blog posts:

January 2017: Healthy School Lunch Law Thrives

December 2015: Strategic and Sustainable Steps to Support Lower Sodium in School Meals

October 2015: We Must Protect Our Kids: A Guest Post from the Past AHA President

September 2015: School meals are getting a little less salty

With nearly one-third of kids overweight or obese, 90% of children eating too much salt, and a chronic disease crisis in this country, we cannot afford to turn our backs on our children and their health. 

What is your local school district serving to students? Let us know by sharing your story about your school.


Kristy Anderson, Senior Government Relations Advisor, American Heart Association. Read Kristy’s Bio.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.