Panel Recommends Changes For NC School Menus

A task force is recommending changes in the diets of North Carolina students.

The Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity has detailed fourteen recommendations to improve children's' health.

The twelve member panel put the recommendations together after hearing from a variety of experts. The panel says the ideas would eventually save money on health care.

Many proposals call for more money for school lunchrooms.
One would drop the reduced-price lunch category, qualifying those students for free lunches. Another proposal would raise school breakfast and lunch prices by a nickel to pay for higher nutrition standards.

Here are all of the proposed recommendations:

- Expand and enhance the food stamp program
- Have all farmers markets accept debit and credit cards
- Create nutrition rules for child care centers
- Have all of the state's $7.2 million in matching child nutrition funds be used for costs instead of salaries
- Eliminate the reduced lunch category
- Revise and implement current state nutrition standards
- Child nutrition programs must have three months worth of expenses in the bank before being charged indirect costs
- Enhance the farm to school program
- Create a Healthy School Cafeteria Program
- Increase physical activity in schools
- Examine and reduce BMI levels in children
- Encourage walking to school and other healthy activities
- Support improved nutrition labeling on restaurant menus
- Continue the childhood obesity task force

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