HEALTH

Healthier school foods goal of Agriculture Department

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First it was school lunches. Now on to school snacks.

AP file photo

The federal government is taking aim at some of the less healthy items kids eat at school. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that snacks in school can have no more than 200 calories. They must also meet the maximum fat and sugar requirements, and trans fats are completely off-limits.

Jennifer Udler has three children and applauds the move.

“It helps to have guidelines,” she says. “It helps to have some sort of structure and voice as to what is healthy.”

Beverages are also being scrutinized. Soon schools will only offer water, unflavored low-fat milk, flavored fat-free milk, and 100 percent fruit juice.

High school junior Freddy Glassman thinks the changes are a good thing.

“Obviously America has an obesity problem, and so if you have low-fat and healthier stuff then hopefully that will diminish,” he says.

Food watchdog group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, says smarter snacks in schools will have a big impact on students’ diets:

“One of the things that is unique about this is that the food will actually have to be nutritious – not just low in the bad stuff but provide some fruit, vegetables, and whole grain or other healthy components to kids’ diets.”

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