Synopsis of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act
In January, 2011, the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs received a “make over” to align them with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new rules require schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and no trans fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The improvements to the school meal program are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend.
Understanding the definition of a food component is important before explaining “What is a Meal?”
A food component is one of the five food groups which make up the reimbursable school lunch:
- Meat/Meat Alternate (M/MA)
- Grains/Breads (G/B)
- Vegetables (V)
- Fruits/Fruit Juice (F)
- Milk (M)
Breakfast has 3 components, where you can choose 3-5 items:
- Grain/Bread (G/B) &/or Meat/Meat Alternate (M/MA)
- Fruit/Fruit Juice &/or Vegetables
- Milk (M)
NOTE: A meat alternate is a plant or dairy based protein.
-peanut butter, yogurt, a veggie patty, hummus, cheese, etc.