Recipes for Healthy Kids: Changing the Image of the School Lunch Menu


Recipe for Healthy Kids

The USDA announced recently that teams across the country are working to improve school meals and the health of children through the creation of new recipes for the National School Lunch Program. It’s all part of the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Child Obesity Campaign.

Chefs, students, school nutrition professionals, parents, and other community members are working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods. The teams had until 5:00 p.m. today to submit their ideas, for which families can vote by fork online.

Recipes for submission must meet nutritional requirements in three categories: whole grain foods, dark green and/or orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas (legumes). Submissions will be taste tested by at least 30 students who participate in the National School Lunch Program.  A grand prize will be offered by a judging panel as well as a Popular Choice winner based on public voting. The judges will also choose award winners for the top two recipes in each category. The top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families.

Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that recently passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation, the centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, authorizes the USDA’S child nutrition programs, including Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow the USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.

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