Published May 4, 2017
Congress passed the bipartisan Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act back in 2010. It included new school meal guidelines which introduced more whole grains, lower sodium levels, and more fruits and vegetables into school lunches!
Since it’s founding, Gourmet Gorilla has always exceeded nutritional guidelines. When these new guidelines came out, we were ahead of the curve and already integrating these requirements into our meals. With a focus on always including whole grains and freshly made meals and an emphasis on fruits and veggies, grown locally whenever possible, we’ve been on the front lines in the cafeterias and lunchrooms. Our job has been to make meals great, and to educate and inspire children on how awesome these foods are!
Yesterday, the USDA announced a loosening of these guidelines, providing schools with more time comply with certain regulations and relaxing the standards for others. We see things differently, and Gourmet Gorilla will continue to move the dial forward and not lose the gains and successes we’ve experienced in our schools.
At a time when one out of three of our nation’s children are overweight or obese, an epidemic that already costs our nation’s economy $1.4 trillion a year, it’s more important then ever to continue promoting, educating, and providing access to nutritionally superior foods that will fuel their bodies and minds.
Here are the stats since 2010:
–Over 99% of schools are meeting important portions of the standards
–86% of voters support the guidelines
–Students are eating more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods that help them reach their classrooms well-nourished and ready to learn.
Gourmet Gorilla understands that healthy eating habits don’t happen overnight, and that education needs to take place when introducing new foods on the lunch tray in order to minimize waste. We don’t want to see those veggies end up in the trash either! But a rollback is not solution.
Our standards on nutrition should be set as high as our academic standards. The USDA and Department of Education should work hand in hand on these efforts to provide kids with a healthy start. Our children deserve it.