Amid continuing concerns about childhood obesity, which affects one-third of American children, access to healthy food at school is on the minds of just about everyone including parents, schools and the federal government. Many children consume half their daily meals during school hours, raising awareness that what children eat at school has a huge impact on overall health and academic performance.
This recognition has inspired a variety of initiatives and innovations centered around making healthier foods available to school children. With the passage of The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and the implementation of the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards in 2014, America has made critical steps on the road to delivering healthier food choices to students across the U.S.. These improved nutrition guidelines determine standards on the fat, salt and calorie content of foods, snacks and beverages sold in schools.
A poll released by The Pew Charitable Trusts indicated that the majority of parents of school-age children have concerns about what their kids are eating in school:
• Most parents favor nutrition standards for all food served in schools.
• 72 percent favor national standards for school meals.
• 72 percent support standards for school snacks.
The study also revealed that most parents don’t consider the nutritional quality of snack foods and beverages traditionally sold in schools to be healthy.
Replacing unhealthy foods sold in school vending machines with healthier snacks and drinks provides a solution to help children stay fueled and ready for learning throughout the day. While many schools lack the resources necessary to implement changes that can positively impact student health, partnering with companies such as HealthyYOU Vending can help promote healthy choices in schools.
HealthyYOU Vending machines hold up to 21 different snack selections and nine drink selections. With more than 1,100 healthy snack and beverage options, healthy vending operators are able to offer plenty of healthy vending snacks that appeal to students while adhering to federal nutrition standards and meeting parent approval. HealthyYOU Vending machines are locally owned, so schools can work with owners to provide snacks that are good for students and appeal to their taste buds.
Good nutrition at school is more important than ever, leading to improved focus and sustained energy, both of which kids need in order to be successful at learning. For more information about getting a HealthyYOU Vending machine placed at no cost at your school, visit www.healthyyouvending.com.