Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids' Packed Lunches Fail

More than 40% of U.S. kids bring their own food to school, but there have been very few studies of what kids have in their lunchboxes. For the new study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers discovered that most of the foods were pre-packaged salty snack foods and sugary desserts - much less fruits and vegetables.

The most common lunch items were sandwiches, which were found in 59% of lunches. About 34% of lunches contained fruit and 11% had vegetables.

Roughly 42% of lunches had snack items and 28% included dessert.

For beverages, 28% of lunches included water, 24% included sugar-sweetened drinks and 3% included milk. Another 11% of kids planned to buy milk at school.

The study team found that only 27% of the lunches met at least three of the five National School Lunch Program standards from the federal government, which include fruit, vegetables, grains, meat or another protein source and milk.

Only 4% of snacks met at least two of the four Child and Adult Food Care Program standards, which are similar to the lunch standards but combine fruit and vegetables into one category.

Bonnie - Believe it or not, many of the school lunches currently offered are better than what many parents send with their kids to school. Yikes!

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