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Understanding the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

The HHFKA allows for additional funding to enhance nutrition programs for schools, as well as increase opportunities for low-income families to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The purpose of this act is to strengthen the NSLP by increasing reimbursements that will enable foodservice programs to increase healthy offerings, including the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, as well as all natural products that do not contain artificial colors or flavors. This program makes it possible to provide nutritious food to the children who need it most. The HHFKA is a very lengthy and complex document and recently, Congress issued a final ruling on the adoption of various individual portions of the Act pertaining to school breakfast and lunch programs.


Whitsons is Leading the Nutrition Charge 

Whitsons School Nutrition has been at the forefront of the industry in its efforts to provide nutritious, healthy meals to the school children we serve. We also place a great importance on educating children about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. Long before the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act was written, Whitsons was removing trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors from the foods we serve. We have reduced sodium content in most of our foods and are well ahead of the guidelines that must be in place by the 2014-15 school year. We place an emphasis on serving lean proteins, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Though the government may still consider tomato sauce to be a vegetable, it is not considered a vegetable by Whitsons’ standards. When we serve pizza, it is made with a whole wheat or whole grain crust and low fat cheese, with a side of vegetables or a salad. We also limit potatoes and other starchy vegetables at the elementary schools and only serve baked products, never fried. We have been closely monitoring the adoption of the HHFKA final ruling and we are already compliant with or even exceed the vast majority of the requirements, and are well prepared to meet all requirements by the legal deadlines. We remain committed to providing balanced, nutritious and delicious choices to the students we serve. We will continue to closely monitor the progress of the HFFA and work with our clients to ensure that our children enjoy healthy, nutritious meals at school and develop lifelong healthy eating habits.


Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC)

We’re Going for the Gold

HUSSC is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the HUSSC into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of children. At that time, monetary awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction. Whitsons’ menus and nutrition program already pre-qualifies our school clients to prepare for meeting the Gold criteria set for this prestigious recognition. In addition to the dining components of the HUSSC program, each school must meet criteria in other areas such as physical education and nutrition education. We are committed to working with any interested client to provide the support needed to help each school successfully apply for and earn a HUSSC award.

 

 

 

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