HHFKA not a hit with students
Published: Thursday, December 20th, 2012
The school year is nearly half over and the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which set new nutritional standards for school lunches, continues to undergo changes due to recent opposition from state representatives and senators, including South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson.
U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack responded to complaints of lawmakers and school administrators with new regulations allowing more meats and grains in school lunches. The exact amount is not yet known, but schools will be considered in compliance as long as they meet the minimum amount, regardless of exceeding the maximum.
“This flexibility is being provided to allow more time for the development of products that fit within the new standards while grant-ing schools additional weekly menu planning options to help ensure that children receive a wholesome, nutritious meal every day of the week," Vilsack wrote in a letter.
Additionally, Vilsack addressed concerns about portion size, explaining that active students who need more to eat should be provided with after-school snacks and the option to supplement the school meal with ala carte items.
The question of portion size has been a sticking point for many, with several legislators touting the new standards as ‘one-size-fits-all.’ However, Vilsack said school meals were intended to be only a portion of the daily dietary intake and meals are distributed according to grade and age. Vilsack stressed that school meals and HHFKA are both in place to provide children with the most wholesome meal possible.
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