National School Food Policies Can Improve Health Now & Later

Children need to develop good eating habits and perceptions of food and nutrition. While they are still young, it is essential for parents to establish good eating habits among children. But the challenge here is that children spend more time in school than at home thus it is crucial for the school to also do its share in improving the health of their students by reinforcing good eating habits.

The Benefits of a School Food Policy

This is the reason why school food policies are in place so that children can be encouraged to make healthy food choices. Providing free fruits and vegetables as well as limiting their sugary drinks while in school can have positive health benefits short and long term.

In a study conducted by researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, they found out that putting healthy food choices in the cafeteria can have potential effects on the widespread juvenile obesity. The study, published in PLOS ONE journal, used risk assessment model to determine the impact of implementing food policies in the country in a national level for all elementary, middle, and high school students particularly on the body mass index (BMI) and the possible cardiometabolic diseases that may spring up in the future.

What Can Food Policies Do?

Since most children consume more than a third of their daily meals as well as snacks in school, having food policies focused mainly on healthy food options is crucial. And it is critical to quantify the effects of the policies on the food choices, health, and nutrition of the children. However, according to senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, the long-term health effects have not yet been evaluated across all levels of primary and secondary education in the country.


Several pieces of literature suggest that providing free fruits and vegetables can increase the habitual consumption of healthy foods where stark improvements have been observed among high school students at 25%. Limiting sugary drinks also decreases the frequent consumption among children and a significant decrease in their BMI with elementary school children showed the highest at 27%.

The Future of Health Food Policy

Changing the food policies in school at a nationwide level can also help the future generation. For instance, children today will eventually grow up, and if they grew up learning about healthy food choices, they could easily share with their children. If such policy was implemented, researchers suggest that provisions of healthy foods and drinks can prevent more than 22,000 deaths once they reach adulthood as the likelihood of getting diabetes, heart disease, and stroke reduces once you consume healthier foods.

Establishing a food policy in schools across the nation should be reviewed regularly so that policymakers know which facets they can improve on aside from eliminating sugary drinks and providing free fresh produce to the students. This is also to validate whether there are indeed short and long-term effects to the obesity rate as well as the overall well-being of the students.

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Healthy School Lunches Are Under Attack

The facts are out there, a significant proportion of children in the United States are battling obesity and a lot of it has to do with our school lunches. 27% of 17-24-year-olds in this country are unfit to join the military, and they are at significant risk of developing lifestyle diseases later in their lives. Parents demanded change in their children’s lunch menu and in 2010 the child nutrition bill was passed. Parents will not celebrate for long as there are proposals to reauthorize the program this year, which will see $ 11 billion to finance the school lunch nutrition program. Congress plans to reauthorize spending, but the programs that have been put in place earlier are at risk. Several players would like this to succeed, one party is the School Nutrition Association, a body that comprises of the school food directors and workers and receives most of their funding from the food industry.

Industry Players Disrupting the Nutrition Bill

Industry players like the potato lobby and frozen pizza makers have already lobbied against new proposals as the new bill’s requests would eat into their profits. Other suppliers are in this for the same reason; their profits have dropped due to children eating healthy. Many of the new proposals for the bill are attacking essential aspects to a healthy diet like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Another example of a sneaky plan is for “Smart Snack Program,” this program would include salty, high calories snacks to kids instead of more healthy alternatives. It’s imperative that we stand strong and keep working to build healthier school lunches for our children. 

There are a few people who believe that healthier meals have led to increased food waste. Healthy foods have never been a kid’s favorite. As kids, we always preferred sweet and salty food, which is why making a change to healthier food is hurting a lot of food manufacturers. The key to ensuring that food waste is minimized without having to give the children junk is creating healthy meals that are more appetizing. This idea has worked perfectly well in some schools, and it can work in others too.

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NutriFusion® for School Lunches

Food manufacturers that provide processed foods to schools need to develop healthier and more appetizing products. That’s a tough combination to strike, but it is the key to sustainable competitive advantage in the school lunch market. Health and nutrition are driving forces in the food industry, and we have to find ways to better our food system for the generations to come. We recommend you take a look at our GrandFusion® products. They are unique blends of organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables that deliver the 50% of the daily value of natural vitamins and minerals. Our mixes go through a patented, stabilization process so that the micronutrients and phytonutrients can withstand the heating and cooling of modern day processing. If you are interested in learning more about our products, please review the website or contact us below.


Kid’s Health: Schools Need Help With Nutrition

Welcome to the NutriFusion blog! We are excited to start sharing news on the trending topics on health, food, and nutrition. Our first post revolves around the current problems with kid’s health and school lunches. In our post today, we focus on a recent article from the New York Times.

Schools Report Varying Results in Their Efforts to Comply With Nutrition Guidelines

Angie Gaszak, a school system nutritionist, says they are trying to make sure that the kids eat healthily and serve them things that they will eat. Angie is part of a growing amount of school nutritionists trying to find the balance to comply with the Child Nutrition Bill that President Obama signed in 2010. The bill requires schools to update their nutritional standards to reduce sodium and sugar and increase the number of fruits and vegetables in school lunches.

Many of the kids are just not buying into the healthy lunches and food waste is starting to pile up at schools across the country. According to the Center for Disease Control, 17% of children in America are overweight. Childhood obesity is a serious problem, but schools believe the nutrition bill should be phased in more gradually.

The current pushback from lawmakers and schools is the investment in new machines and fresh produce to serve healthier lunches that comply with the law. However, 95% of school are in compliance with the law. Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, is optimistic in helping the 5% comply with the law. So far his group has contributed $98 million to schools to fund new equipment and fresh produce.

Schools are frustrated. They believe that students should be eating healthier, but they need more flexibility to deliver on this issue. The Child Nutrition Bill is causing massive problems for schools because of the strict sodium regulations. One official talks about a salad that they had to stop serving because the dressing had too much sodium. On the other hand, some schools are finding the regulations easier to deal with than others. A school district in Georgia, suggest that the laws are not too harsh, and schools need to play with the menu. The sodium regulations are actually on weekly averages, so it’s relatively easy to serve food high in sodium one day and very little sodium the next day.

Some school districts have seen success by working with food manufacturers to re-develop existing student favorites to meet the new nutritional guidelines. It’s important for students to eat well every day and not have to change their diets very much. We believe our products are a great example of how food manufacturers could enhance popular foods to meet the new guidelines. Our powdered fruits and vegetables can be added to almost any processed food or beverage to add the daily vitamins and minerals that are essential to kid’s health.

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