In preparation for the 2015 school year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging schools to maintain momentum for the updated healthy meal standards. APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, joined this discussion in a guest post published on USDA’s blog about the importance of child nutrition and the role of schools in delivering it.

imageAs kids across the country begin a new school year, they’ll be hitting the books to learn important skills to be successful later in life. They’ll also be visiting cafeterias, vending machines and school stores for the foods and beverages they need to fuel their growing bodies and for achieving academic success. With nearly one in three children overweight or obese, it’s critical that healthy meals are available to them throughout the school environment.

Schools play a unique role in improving child nutrition and instilling lifelong healthy behaviors in kids. Not only do students spend much of their daily lives at school, they consume up to one-half of their daily calories there as well. Many students consume breakfast, lunch and snacks at school. For kids from low-income families, who may have limited access to healthy foods, these school meals are often the most substantial nourishment they receive throughout the day.

To continue reading this post, visit USDA’s blog.