Source: International Dairy Foods Association
Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, issued the following statement on the United States Department of Agriculture's successful expansion of its HealthierUS Schools Challenge program. Dairy products are an important part of the program’s nutrition standards.
“We applaud USDA for its success in certifying more than 3,700 schools in the HealthierUS School Challenge to boost the health and nutrition of the nation's schoolchildren. This includes nearly 1,500 more schools than the original program goal.
“We are encouraged by the success of the program because milk and dairy play an important role in providing essential nutrition to school-age children. Milk consumption among youth has declined in past years and these efforts will encourage more milk consumption and better overall health.
“We also recognize the participating schools for voluntarily adopting USDA standards to improve their food and beverage offerings, as well as set supportive school wellness standards that teach students about nutritious food choices and physical activity and provide opportunities for exercise.
“Each of these steps is important in helping create a new generation of healthier Americans.”
The HealthierUS Schools Challenge program criteria requires that schools serve only healthy beverage choices which USDA has defined as low-fat and fat-fat milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and non-sweetened, non-carbonated water. These recommendations also include an increase in low-fat dairy products among the updated nutrition standards for school meals. For more on the Healthier US Schools Challenge, click here.