The United States Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program helps supply fresh produce to school children. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday that the USDA will provide $158 million to state agencies during the 2011-2012 school year to provide students in select low-income schools with $50 to $75 worth of fresh produce as snacks over the course of a school year.
The USDA sees this is a way of helping children change their eating habits for good.
"Improving the health and nutrition of our kids is a national imperative and by providing schools with fresh fruits and vegetables that expand their healthy options, we are helping our kids to have a brighter, healthier future," said Vilsack. "Every time our kids eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable, they are learning healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime."
When you dig down into the fine print of how the program is to be administered, there’s a stipulation that fruit may not be served with a dip, but “in the interest of promoting the consumption of vegetables, the judicious use of low fat and non-fat dips for vegetables in a ‘serving size’ quantity is allowed.”
I love it when there is evidence of common sense being used when writing government guidelines. Most kids will eat fruits as is, but let’s face it, a little ranch dip can help some raw cauliflower go down a whole lot easier for a child who has never seen cauliflower before. I bet the person who wrote that is a parent.
So there you have it. Kids will get fresh produce as a snack and common sense is being used. Nice use of our tax money, don’t you think?