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Owatonna Schools on Board with USDA Nutrition Regulations

1 Great Tray Dry Erase Menu BoardLearning ZoneXpress is located in Owatonna, Minnesota – so we are pleased to see that our local schools are on board with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. According to Owatonna People’s Press

The Owatonna School district is well on its way to meeting the new requirements for nutrition set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Since the bill was signed into law in 2010, Rachel Valesano and the rest of the Food and Nutrition Services staff have been working hard to make sure the Owatonna school district meets the new requirements for everything from vending machine food to whole grains in the daily lunches.

“We were well aware that the changes were coming,” said Valesano. “Overall, it hasn’t been a difficult process, but we started early by doing small things to make progress.”

The bill, signed into law by President Barack Obama as part of a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, not only covers the food served during lunch and breakfast times, but food served at any point during the school day.

“The official school day goes from 12:01 a.m. the night before to about 30 minutes after school lets out,” said Valesano. “This is so anything sold before school starts, like doughnuts, is still covered by the law’s requirements.”

As far as the impact on students, Valesano says there hasn’t been and won’t be any drastic changes, though students may notice an item here or there not available anymore at lunch.

“It’s been more difficult on other school districts than ours,” said Valesano. “But one of the major changes is that now students will have to have a full serving of fruits or vegetables with their meals.

We are glad that so many schools have been successful with the changes – we whole hearted believe that good nutrition leads to happier, healthier students that are better prepared to learn. We’re pleased to see that our local schools are doing so well!

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