The National Academy of Sciences' Institute for Medicine (IOM) released last week the first of two reports stemming from its study of the nutrition and meal standards for school feeding programs. The first report explains the IOM committee's anticipated approach for reviewing the nutritional requirements of the school lunch and breakfast programs. The second report, expected to be released in October 2009, will outline the committee's findings and provide recommendations designed to "bring these meals more in line with today's dietary guidelines."
The National School Breakfast Program feeds 10 million children a day, and the National School Lunch Program feeds more than 30 million students. Keeping these numbers in mind, the IOM committee plans to recommend updates that reflect new developments in nutrition science, increase the availability of key food groups in the programs and foster healthy eating habits, while safeguarding children’s health, the report states.
Fluid milk is required menu item for all federally funded school lunch and breakfast meals. Schools also purchase cheese, yogurt and frozen juice pops to include in these meals.
The committee will hold a public forum in Washington, D.C., on January 28, 2009, to receive input on the Phase I report. Written comments may be submitted at FNBSchoolMeals@nas.edu through January 31, 2009.
The study, which began in February 2008, is supported by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
IDFA is reviewing the report and will provide more details to members in the next issue of News Update.