School Lunches - What's Being Eaten and Thrown Away

By CNN News Wire

Published 03/06 2014 08:52AM

Updated 03/06 2014 09:00AM

Getting children to eat healthy meals is not just a problem at home, but also at school. 
A new study by the Harvard School of Public Health looks at what school kids are eating and how healthy changes in the menu are making a difference. 

Schoolchildren are eating more fruits and vegetables under the new school lunch program, according to a new study in the American Journal Of Preventive Medicine. 

When children started school in the fall of 2012, they found their cafeterias' serving more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  The healthier foods were the result of changes to the National School Lunch Program made under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

But critics complained about the menu changes and said too much food was being wasted.  This study found that kids were actually eating better and not throwing away any more food than before.

Under the new program children are now required to choose either a fruit or vegetable as part of their meal and the portion sizes for these items are larger.

About 25% more children are now eating fruit... and vegetable consumption is up about one cup per week. 

Schoolchildren still leave far too much uneaten food on their plates.  Additional strategies are needed to provide high quality meals that children will eat.   

(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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