By Polymnia Hadjipanayiotou
In line with several government initiatives, school lunches are becoming healthier, federal officials have revealed in a new report.
Meals now include whole grains and more fruit and vegetables and are more likely to have less salt, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey reveals. About 97% of schools offered a whole grain option for breakfast and 94% had a similar option for lunch in 2014.
CDC officials analyzed school surveys from 2000, 2006 and 2014 to see how the 2012 policies mandated by the Department of Agriculture affected the meal choices offered at school cafeterias, and their findings conclude that overall, lunches are getting healthier.
- “The standards require serving more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and gradually reducing sodium content over 10 years,” the CDC officials wrote, something many schools are implementing already.
- “Almost all schools offered whole grain foods each day for breakfast and lunch, and most offered two or more vegetables and two or more fruits each day for lunch,”
The report says that almost eight in ten schools served two or more vegetables for lunch every day, while 78% percent of schools served two or more fruits.