Healthy eating habits are important at any age. Children should be encouraged to eat nutritionally balanced meals and snacks every day. Beverages are important, too, with nearly half of the “added sugar” calories kids consume coming from soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks,1 which may leave kids missing out on key nutrients. Unlike these “added sugar” beverages, 100 percent orange juice is naturally tasty and packed with important vitamins and minerals for both kids and adults.
At home and at school, the national movement to improve the health of American children through healthy diets and lifestyles continues to gain momentum. For the first time in more than fifteen years, new meal requirements in schools will help to improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day. To improve nutrition among these students, the final standards include:
· Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week
· Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods
· Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties
· Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size
· Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium2
Serving nutritious foods like 100 percent orange juice, which provides at least 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in a 6-ounce serving,3 helps schools meet national nutrition guidelines. Orange juice can also play a role as a key ingredient to enhance the flavor of recipes, boosting their kid-appeal.
Refreshing your school menu with new recipes from the Florida Department of Citrus is easy by featuring a zesty, citrus twist on kids’ favorite entrées. Add variety to everyday offerings with Baked Orange Panko Chicken Tenders, Orange-Herb Veggie Patties, Southwestern Orange-BBQ Chicken Flatbread and Blueberry-Orange Muffins. These delicious menu options are sure to become new favorites among the student body.
For more kid-friendly recipes, visit http://floridajuice.com/meal-course/kid-friendly-recipes.
1 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.
2 USDA Office of Communications, Newsroom, January 2012.
3 American Academy of Pediatrics recommended serving size for children one through six.