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I wish I were the kind of mom who could say her daughter is repelled by junk food, that she craves only fruits and vegetables. But no, given the option, my kid will choose barbecue potato chips over carrots, a six pack of dusted mini donuts over whole grain tortilla chips. At home, I do what I can to control what snack options are available to my family, but vending machines and à la carte lines in her school lunch room sabotages my efforts. I know I'm not alone. At a recent drop-in at my daughter's school, the line of students that began at the vending machine seemed a block long.

That's why I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released proposed nutritional standards for snacks and beverages that are sold in schools through vending machines, à la carte lines, and school stores. Join me in sending them real feedback from families with children by clicking here.

These standards will help get junk foods out of schools and keep kids eating healthy even when their parents aren't around. But the standards won't be powerful enough without your input.

There are less than 30 days left in the comment period during which the USDA is taking public feedback on their proposed standards. We need your help to make sure that the USDA ends up implementing strong standards that give our children better snack options. It's time to update the food choices that our kids have in school. The current standards for snacks and beverages sold in schools were last updated more than 30 years ago. 

Consider this: 40 percent of students buy and eat snack foods at school in a typical day. When schools sell unhealthy snacks and drinks outside of meals, it can cause kids to eat less of their lunch, consume more fat, take in fewer nutrients, and gain weight.

Healthier policies can work. A few years ago, the California state legislature put in place some of the strongest guidelines in the country on snack food sold in schools. A study from last year found that following that change, kids ate and drank 158 fewer calories per day. This is great news for moms and dads in California because children who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Studies also show that revenue wasn’t lost when school districts replaced salty, sugary snacks in vending machines and a la carte lines with healthier snacks.

All school children deserve the best.  Sign this petition asking the USDA to make sure that all schools across the country have healthy options for snack foods.

 *Show your support for healthier snacks and drinks in schools. Sign the petition today! 

Together, we are a strong force for women and families.

PS - Do you have a lunchroom horror or success story to share? Send us your story and a picture! Or just take a few seconds to share a few thoughts about junk foods or lack of junk foods at your children's school. Policymakers need to hear from parents about what's really happening in our children's schools.


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