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Healthy Schools

Many children consume at least half of their daily calories at school, and for many children, food served at school may be the only food they regularly eat.

With more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 12 million participating in the School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever. Let’s Move! is committed to providing healthier foods in our nation’s schools, and encourages all schools to provide school breakfast.

In 2012, we accomplished a critical step on the road to deliver healthier food to our nation’s school children when the U.S. Department of Agriculture released new rules that will boost the nutritional quality of the meals eaten by school children every day. The rules represent the first major revision of school meal standards in more than 15 years and make sure our kids' lunches and breakfasts will have more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and less fat and sodium and set sensible calorie limits based on the age of children being served

Principles, teachers, school nutrition workers and parents can help make schools healthier places to learn by providing quality food and teaching children about the importance of nutrition and embracing a healthy active lifestyle.

To help out, we've launched Chefs Move to Schools to match schools with a local chef to incorporate new techniques and healthy recipes into school meals and show kids that eating right is delicious and fun. Learn more on our Chefs Move to Schools web site.

HealthierUS School Challenge

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) establishes rigorous standards for schools' food quality, participation in meal programs, physical activity opportunities, and nutrition education. This nationwide program has spurred schools that meet these standards all across the country to transform their environments into places where healthy eating and physical activity is experienced and learned. Schools that are doing the very best work to keep kids healthy are recognized and even receive monetary incentives. 

In February 2010, USDA and the First Lady called on stakeholders to double the number of Challenge schools - a milestone reached in June 2011 – and add 1,000 schools per year for two years after that. The First Lady announced on February 10, 2012 that 2,862 schools have now met the HealthierUS School Challenge, surpassing the goals of this key component of her Let's Move! initiative.