Students and teachers from a school in Kansas City are trying to get their voices heard!
They created a you tube music video called “We Are Hungry” speaking out about the new changes made in the school cafeterias.
The point is that the calorie requirements are too restrictive! Kids are going out or bringing in extra snacks which is defeating the purpose of encouraging healthier eating. Too little calories at lunch is also leaving students hungry in the classroom. This will affect learning as well as their performance in after school activities.
The music video was a creative way to get their point across. We have heard lots of feedback about kids not liking the healthy food that is being offered. That’s something that will improve as more foods become available to schools that meet the new USDA guidelines. But, kids being hungry because the calories levels are too strict is a different story.
The republican party has just proposed the “No Hungry Kids Act.” The “No Hungry Kids Act” repeals the USDA rule that created the new standards, prohibits the USDA’s upper caloric limits, and will protect rights of parents to send their children to school with the foods of their choice.
We told you last week about the The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the new USDA guidelines that have been implemented in the schools this year…
These new standards require schools to serve more fruits and vegetables (including beans, dark green and orange vegetables every week), switch to whole grains, serve only low-fat or no-fat milk, and limit the sodium and calories in each meal.
School meals must meet these new requirements starting in the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to the foods that the schools must offer to students, the new requirements state what the student must take in order for that lunch to be considered a student meal.
Over the last few weeks, there has been lots of feedback.
Students are complaining that they are hungry!
There are calorie restrictions that the schools are required to enforce.
Grades K-5: 550 to 650 per day
Grades 6-8: 600 to 700 per day
Grades 9-12: 750 to 850 per day
Calories can be averaged over the course of a weeks time
Here are the food guidelines by grade…
Grades K-5: 8 to 9 servings per week
Grades 6-8: 8 to 10 servings per week
Grades 9-12: 10 to 12 servings per week
Students should have at least one serving of grains each day, and one-half of offerings must be rich in whole grain.
Grades K-5: 8 to 10 ounces per week
Grades 6-8: 9 to 10 ounces per week
Grades 9-12: 10 to 12 ounces per week
Nuts, tofu, cheese and eggs can be substituted for meat in some cases.
Grades K-12: 1 cup per day
Fat-free, low-fat and lactose-free milk options are allowable.
Grades K-8: One-half cup per day
Grades 9-12: One cup per day
Only half of the weekly fruit requirement can come from juice.
Grades K-8: Three-quarters cup per day
Grades 9-12: One cup per day
Weekly requirements for vegetable subgroups, including dark green, red/orange, beans/peas, starchy and others.
By July 2014, sodium levels for lunches should not exceed:
Grades K-5: 640 milligrams
Grades 6-8: 710 milligrams
Grades 9-12: 740 milligrams
A timetable sets targets for further reducing sodium levels by 2022.
No more than 10 percent saturated fats. No trans-fat, except for those naturally occurring in meat and dairy products.