Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Schools Add More Fruits, Veggies to the '3 Rs'

Schools Add More Fruits, Veggies to the '3 Rs'

TUESDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Under new U.S. guidelines on school lunches, low-income students are eating more fruits and vegetables, according to a new study.

And concerns that much healthful food would go to waste have proved unfounded. Still, there is substantial waste, even though the kids are eating more fruits and veggies, the researchers said.

"Many low-income students rely on school meals for up to half of their daily energy intake. Therefore, school meals can have important implications for student health," said the study's lead investigator, Juliana Cohen of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

"Overall, the new requirements have led to improvements in student diets and have not resulted in increased food waste," she added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2012 revised its guidelines on school lunches, requiring that students have access to more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Under the new rules, children have to choose a fruit or a vegetable. Portion sizes for these fruits and vegetables are also larger.

In conducting the study, the researchers examined the amount of cafeteria food waste in four low-income urban schools in Massachusetts, before and after the new school lunch guidelines were issued.

The study, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that the amount of food waste in schools was roughly unchanged once the school lunch standards went into effect. However, kids did start eating more fruits and vegetables along with more food from their main entree.

The percentage of students choosing fruit with their lunch rose from 53 percent to 76 percent, but no more food was being wasted, the researchers found. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who selected a vegetable with their lunch rose from 25 percent to 41 percent. The study also showed the percentage of kids eating more of their lunch entree jumped from 72 percent to 88 percent.

However, students still throw out 60 percent to 75 percent of the vegetables and 40 percent of the fruit they are served. It's roughly the same amount that was wasted before the guidelines were revised, the study found.

"While the new standards make important changes by requiring reimbursable school meals to have increased quantities of fruits and vegetables and more vegetable variety, this may not be sufficient," said Cohen in a journal news release. "Schools must also focus on the quality and palatability of the fruits and vegetables offered and on creative methods to engage students to taste and participate in selection of menu items to decrease overall waste levels."

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more information on nutrition for children.

SOURCE: Elsevier, news release, March 4, 2014

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Sports Medicine and Adolescent Medicine
Dr. Joel Brenner
Dr. Aisha Joyce
Dr. David Smith
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Someone's in the Kitchen with Grandma
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
Treating Teen Acne
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
Food Quiz
Food Safety Quiz
Teen Health Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Adolescent Mental Health Overview
Adolescents and Diabetes Mellitus
AIDS/HIV in Children
Amenorrhea in Teens
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Breast Conditions
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Diphtheria in Children
Dysmenorrhea in Adolescents
Ewing Sarcoma
Female Growth and Development
Gynecological and Menstrual Conditions
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents
Home Page - Adolescent Medicine
Infectious Mononucleosis in Teens and Young Adults
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Major Depression in Adolescents
Meningitis in Children
Menstrual Disorders
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Oral Health
Osteosarcoma in Children
Overview of Adolescent Health Problems
Pap Test for Adolescents
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Growing Child: Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
The Heart
The Kidneys
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.