October 24th, 2012
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a national program that plays a key role in supporting the nutrition and health of schoolchildren in the United States. The National School Lunch Program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946.
Since 1980, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have published the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years. These guidelines serve as authoritative advice on how to practice good dietary habits to promote health and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. Fast-forwarding to 1995, regulations for Nutrition Standard and Meal Requirements were established to ensure that each student was provided with specified amounts of nutrients on their lunch tray. Since then, there have been many advances in the dietary guidance.
In 2000, the USDA launched the national campaign Eat Smart. Play Hard.TM in efforts to encourage families (mainly children) to eat healthy and stay active, following the Dietary Guidelines. In 2005, the USDA also released MyPyramid as an update to the American food guide pyramid. This was later replaced by USDA?s MyPlate.
In 2008, the USDA requested the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to provide recommendations on updating the Nutrition Standard and Meal Requirements, since its last update was in 1995. The IOM, in turn, produced a report called the Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements?for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs: Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisions.
In February of 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let?s Move campaign in efforts to combat childhood obesity and to put children on the path to a healthy future. In December of 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which in turn required the USDA to update nutrition standards for school meals based on the Dietary Guidelines, and also allowed the USDA to be more effective and aggressive in responding to childhood obesity, and to be able to make real reforms to the lunch program.
In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as an ?evidence-based nutritional guidance? to promote the health of adults and children, as well as to reduce the prevalence of obesity through ?improved nutrition and physical activity.?
This brings us to 2012. Early this year, in January, the USDA?s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued the final rule for Nutritional Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The final rule was based on the Dietary Guidelines, as well as the recommendations from the IOM.
One of the key points that the rule requires is that most schools must reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in meals, which is also stressed in the Dietary Guidelines. This brings us to our Thin ?n Trim products. While all our of products are low in sodium and low in fat, the products that best fit the topic of kids? lunches, is of course, Thin ?n Trim deli meats and cold cuts. I mean, what else would you use to make a sandwich or a wrap for lunch?! Unfortunately, Thin ?n Trim lunch meats are not actually served in the school cafeterias, but they are definitely ideal for kids that bring sack lunches from home. They also make for healthy and great tasting snacks or quick lunches outside of school. On that note, I will end Thin ?n Trim Deli: Healthy Lunch Meats for Kids, Part 1: Lunch History.
Stay tuned next week for Thin ?n Trim Deli: Healthy Lunch Meats for Kids, Part 2: Sodium, as I explain in more detail just how our Thin ?n Trim Deli line provides healthy lunch meats for kids!