Is School Food Really Healthy?

A recent study by the CDC has shown that school food is often not as healthy as it should be. What can be done to change this?

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School food standards in the U.S.

In the United States, there are federal standards for the food that is served in schools. These standards are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The standards are meant to ensure that school food is nutritious and safe. However, some people argue that the standards are not strict enough. Let’s take a look at the school food standards in the U.S.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) was a landmark federal law that required all schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to improve the nutritional quality of meals served to children. The standards were based on the best available science and expert recommendations, and they took effect in school years starting in 2012-2013.

Under the HHFKA, schools were required to serve meals that:
-were lower in fat and sodium;
-included more whole grains;
-offered a variety of fruits and vegetables;
-and met strict limits on calories.

In addition, the HHFKA required that:
– all schools offer breakfast to all students;
– nutrition education be part of the curriculum;
– and schools provide opportunities for physical activity.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new interim rules in 2017 that make it easier for schools to serve healthy meals that appeal to students. The Trump administration has proposed further changes that would weaken the standards, including raising the amount of sodium allowed in meals and eliminating requirements for fruits and vegetables. It is unclear whether or when these changes will be finalized.

The National School Lunch Program

In the United States, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It was established as a way to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods among children, and provide them with access to a well-rounded diet. The NSLP provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each day. The program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, which was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1946.

The NSLP is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to receive federal funding, schools must serve lunches that meet guidelines set forth by the USDA. These guidelines are based on the latest scientific research on nutrition and health, and they are designed to ensure that children receive meals that are both nutritious and economical.

Schools that participate in the NSLP must offer lunches that meet certain requirements with respect to food groups, portion sizes, and nutrient content. For example, lunches must include milk; meat or meat alternates; fruits and vegetables; and grains. In addition, schools must offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables. Furthermore, lunches must contain no more than 30% of calories from fat, and less than 10% of calories from saturated fat.

School food around the world

There are many controversies when it comes to the food served in schools. Some people believe that the food is unhealthy and not nutritious enough, while others believe that the food is just fine. So, what is the truth? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of school food.


In France, pupils are provided with a three-course hot meal at midday. A typical meal might comprise of a starter such as soup or salad, followed by a main course such as meat or fish with vegetables, and a dessert. Pupils are offered a choice of dishes and are encouraged to try new foods.

There is a strong emphasis on healthy eating in French schools, and meals are typically well-balanced. The food is also usually locally sourced and seasonal. In recent years, there has been a move away from processed foods in favor of fresh produce.

The quality of school food in France is generally good, though there have been some concerns in recent years about the amount of salt that is used in some meals. Pupils are typically given an allowance to spend on lunch, which means that they are not always eating the healthiest option available.


In Italy, the food is quite simple. There is usually a type of protein, a cooked vegetable, and a raw vegetable. For example, one day you might have baked chicken, boiled broccoli, and sliced cucumbers. Another day, you might have spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans, and carrots. school food is actually quite healthy!


In Japan, school food is called kyushoku and consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, rice, and soup. A typical lunch might include grilled fish, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and rice. Fruit is also served daily. School lunches are prepared by a team of lunch ladies in the school kitchen and served to the students in the classroom.

Lunches are carefully balanced to ensure that students get the nutrients they need to grow and learn. Meals often include a variety of colors and textures to stimulate students’ senses and encourage them to try new things.

Kyushoku is an important part of the Japanese educational system and is considered a valuable opportunity for students to learn about healthy eating habits.

The debate over school food

There has been a lot of debate over whether or not school food is healthy. Some people believe that school food is healthier than the food that children would eat at home. Others believe that school food is not healthy and that children should bring their own food to school. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the debate.


There are a number of reasons why people believe that school food is healthy. The first is that the food is regulated by the government. The USDA establishes guidelines for what can and cannot be served in schools, and these guidelines are based on research about what is nutritious.

Another reason people believe that school food is healthy is because it is often made from scratch. This means that it does not contain the preservatives and other chemicals that are found in processed foods. Scratch-cooked meals also tend to be lower in fat and calories than their processed counterparts.

Finally, many people believe that school food is healthy because it exposes children to a variety of new foods. Kids who eat school meals are exposed to different cuisines and ingredients than they would be at home, which can help them develop a more adventurous palate.


One of the main arguments opponents make is that the food served in schools is unhealthy. They say that processed foods are full of unhealthy additives, and that the portions are too large. In addition, they argue that the food served in schools is often high in fat, salt, and sugar. Some opponents also argue that the food served in schools is not nutritious enough.

School food in the future

There are movements to make school food more healthy across America. Some people believe that the food served in schools is not healthy enough and that more needs to be done to improve it. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.


As schools increasingly focus on ensuring that their students are eating healthy meals, many are looking to technology to help them meet this goal. From apps that track food consumption to those that make it easier to order and track school lunches, there are a number of ways that technology is being used to improve school food.

One of the most exciting developments in this area is the use of virtual reality (VR) to help students learn about healthy eating habits. VR can be used to create immersive experiences that allow students to see what a healthy meal looks like and how it can be prepared. This can be a valuable tool for teaching kids about nutrition and helping them make better food choices.

Another way that technology is being used to improve school food is through the use of robotics. Robotics can be used in the kitchen to help with food preparation, cooking, and serving. This can help reduce the amount of time and labor needed to prepare healthy meals, making it easier for schools to offer nutritious options.

Technology also has the potential to help schools reduce food waste. Apps like LeanPath allow schools to track their food waste and find ways to reduce it. This can help save money and resources, while also ensuring that less food ends up in landfills.

Ultimately, technology can play a major role in helping schools improve their food offerings and better meet the needs of their students. By utilizing apps, VR, robotics, and other technological innovations, schools can make strides in providing healthier and more sustainable meals for their students


As the world becomes increasingly focused on sustainability, it’s likely that school food will follow suit. We may see more plant-based options, locally sourced ingredients, and efforts to reduce food waste. Of course, this will all depend on the availability of resources and the willingness of schools to make changes.

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