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Welcome to the MomsRising blog carnival for National School Lunch Week with Healthy Food! We're delighted that you're here and we have many thoughtful, informative posts for you from a diverse group authors as you scroll down this page.

Today starts National School Lunch Week and this is a critically important issue for our nation, and for my family. At the age of 15, my son was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His diagnosis not only affected his life, it affected our family's life. The lifestyle changes I made, the way I cooked, limiting sweets and incorporating exercise, were a start, but they were not enough. He spent more than half of his day at school - almost 10 hours! Running between classes and clubs, he did not have enough time to run outside to grab a healthy meal or snack. He was faced with going hungry or eating food that had no nutritional value, the same type of food that played a role in his diagnosis.

It was not a choice he should have had to make.

HS Seniors breakfast | Latina On a Mission

Over the last 4 decades, childhood obesity among school age children, ages 6 to 19, has tripled. With more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program, and consuming almost half of their daily calories at school, providing healthy meals within schools can help stem the tide of childhood obesity in the United States.

To help prevent obesity, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), recently updated nutrition standards for school meals. Although some states have implemented healthier meal standards on their own, the changes from USDA are the first update to national nutrition standards for school meals in 15 years. School meals are now required to have more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting the amount of sodium, fat, and calories.

Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project_USDA Nutrition Standards | MomsRising,org

The good news is, schools are implementing these standards. Ninety-four percent of U.S. school districts expected to meet the updated standards by the end of the 2012-13 school year, according to a national survey commissioned by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. USDA itself has said that 80 percent of schools already have met the standards. This is very encouraging!

 Today, parents, educators and advocates speak out about the changes. *Please read through the below (scroll down) and comment on these thoughtful blogs, then take the time to tell us your story and why you support strong USDA nutrition standards for school meals. Our stories are powerful and are what led administrators to set these rules in place. Read them. Share them. Tell yours.


JessicaDonzeJessica Donze Black, Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Changing the Conversation about School Food


Kate UslanKate Uslan, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Grateful for School Lunch Improvements


aliya-hussaini-headshotAliya Hussaini, MD, Michael & Susan Dell Foundations Drop the pizza! A cost-benefit analysis of junk food says our kids deserve better


Catarina RiveraCatarina Rivera, Healthy Kids in the Heights Food is Fuel for our Students


Denise_RunDMT_HeadshotDenise Mestanza-Taylor, Health Blogger - Run DMT Former Classroom Teacher Supports USDA Standards for School Meals


Migdalia's Photo 250 x 350- WebMigdalia Rivera, Associate Campaign Director Students Deserve a Fighting Chance


Alison Crockett | MomsRising.orgAlison Crockett, Musician, Mom, Entrepreneur Children grow up fast. We can’t wait for healthy school lunches…


elizabeth-tathamElizabeth Tatham, American Heart Association and You’re The Cure Advocate Tough Love at the Table


Rosalynda Segovia ThornRosalynda Segovia Thorn, Blogger, Shot@Life Champion - United Nations Foundation Mystery Meat, Your Days Are Numbered


Kimberly-ColemanKimberly Coleman, Founder/Blogger, Foodie City Mom and Mom in the City

The Good News About USDA Nutritional Standards


Cristina RamirezCristina Ramirez, Mom, Blogger -

A Change To Healthier Foods Today Is Not A Rejection Of My Culture


Brandy ButlerBrandy Butler, Founder Be and Triumphant Journeys My Children’s School Lunch, A Mother’s Revelation


Amber Dunn | MomsRising.orgAmber Dunn, Blogger, Good Food Force Ambassador School Lunches: Unity in the Quest for Quality


Sarene Alsharif, Good Food Force Ambassador | MomsRising.orgSarene Alsharif, Healthy Plate 5, Good Food Force Ambassador

Children Are What They Eat


Cindy Bautista-ThomasCindy Bautista-Thomas, University Social Work Administrator, PhD Student, Writer In My Dominican Family, Food is Very Important


dianalimongiDiana Limongi, Latina Working Mom, Graduate Student, Freelance Writer Parents + Schools Working Together = Healthy Kids


Sofia Bautista PertuzSofia Bautista Pertuz, Assistant Dean and Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Fordham University Nutritious Meals Encourage Fuller Lives


Sarah Griswold | MomsRising.orgSarah Griswold, Registered Dietitian Even before they are school aged, toddlers are fed junk food at day care


Yadira AmbertYadira Ambert, Blogger Mi Niño No Come Comida Del Comedor Escolar


Melinda GonzálezMelinda Gonzalez, Food Justice/Food Rights Activist, Organic Melinda New USDA Meal Plan for Children: One Step in the Right Direction

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!