IDFA Praises USDA HealthierUS Schools Challenge
HealthierUS School lunch challenge includes adding low fat milk options.
Published: Jul 19, 2012
The HealthierUS School Challenge program, sponsored by the USDA, has now certified more than 3,700 schools in the program, which promotes nutrition and physical activity.
The HealthierUS Schools Challenge program criteria requires that schools serve only healthy beverage choices which USDA has defined as low-fat and fat-fat milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and non-sweetened, non-carbonated water. These recommendations also include an increase in low-fat dairy products among the updated nutrition standards for school meals.
The International Dairy Foods Association is pleased with the number of schools that have joined the program.
"We applaud USDA for its success in certifying more than 3,700 schools in the HealthierUS School Challenge to boost the health and nutrition of the nation's schoolchildren," said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the IDFA. "This includes nearly 1,500 more schools than the original program goal."
HealthierUS School lunch challenge includes adding low fat milk options.Tipton said the success of the program is encouraging because of the importance of milk in diets.
"...milk and dairy play an important role in providing essential nutrition to school-age children. Milk consumption among youth has declined in past years and these efforts will encourage more milk consumption and better overall health," Tipton said.
The program is voluntary, but Tipton is also aware of the steps schools have taken to offer healthy choices.
"We also recognize the participating schools for voluntarily adopting USDA standards to improve their food and beverage offerings, as well as set supportive school wellness standards that teach students about nutritious food choices and physical activity and provide opportunities for exercise. Each of these steps is important in helping create a new generation of healthier Americans."
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