NYC: Making Food a Legal Matter…Again

New York City did a great job decreasing fat and calories in school lunches for children…in some cases too good. It was found that the NYC schools were actually feeding children too little calories based on 1994 guidelines from the Dept of Agriculture. They made healthy switches such as low fat chocolate milk and turkey bacon. The problem was additional items to fill the calorie gap were not always provided.

“The menu changes were part of an ambitious city campaign against childhood obesity that dates back almost a decade, and also included eliminating soda from all school vending machines; supplanting canned vegetables with fresh and frozen ones; removing artificial trans-fat from all foods served in schools; reducing sodium and increasing fiber; and removing all deep fryers.”

The article states they did not intend to decrease calories but rather to increase nutritional content. By choosing nutrient dense foods they actually served meals under the required limits. In response they have re-evaluated the guidelines and adjusted meals accordingly by age group. It is important, and exciting to note, that while they are re-adjusting the calorie count they are still trying to: reduce sodium, and increase the numbers of fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

FYI: “The new rules require 550 calories through the fifth grade, 600 for middle school students and 750 for high schools. The maximums are 100 calories higher than the minimums.”


2 thoughts on “NYC: Making Food a Legal Matter…Again

  1. Hi!
    Does the school lunch cost something? Does it vary across state and school or is it standard? Here in Finland it’s for free, like the whole education system all the way up to university level.

    • The school lunch does cost money and I believe is broken down by school district not by state. So each district can design their own prices. At my school if your family could not afford meals you were offered reduced prices and I think free breakfast to make sure the kids were eating enough each day.

      And we definitely pay for food at the University level! But those prices are determined by each school so can vary greatly.

      That is interesting your lunches are free. I guess it makes sense if everything else regarding education is free as well. Do they have good choices or do many people pack a lunch? ( I always packed a lunch when I was in school)

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