School lunch programs

Definition 
The nutritional goal of the school lunch program is to provide children a meal that contains approximately one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). The lunches provide one third of the RDA when averaged over time - not at each meal.

Recommendations 
Every school lunch program is different. To find out more about the program in your community, request menus from your child’s school. If the meals served are less nutritious than you would like, consider choosing two or three days a week for your child to participate and supplement with healthier brown bag lunches on the remaining days.

When you are making judgments about the school lunch programs in your community, remember that the healthiest brown bag lunches are of little benefit if they aren’t eaten.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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