Healthy Meals for Children Act

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The Healthy Meals for Children Act was signed into public law on May 29th 1996 by President Clinton. The Public Law 104-149, Healthy Meals for Children Act, establishes that local school’s meal fulfill the nutrition standards stipulated by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and provides flexibility to school meal planners. [1] The law authorizes schools to apply any four of the specific menu planning system options which are Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (NuMenus), Assisted NuMenus, Traditional Food-Based system, and Enhanced Food-Based system. [2] The NuMenus utilizes a computerized nutritional analysis to formulate a weekly meal ensuring the Dietary Guidelines are implemented. Under the Assisted NuMenus system, the nutritional menu is regulated and analyzed by outside contractors which use menu planning guidelines from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Traditional Food-Based system’s menu provides minimum quantities of meat or alternative substitutes, fruits, vegetables, grain rich foods like bread, and milk. Finally, the Enhanced Food-Based system is founded upon the Traditional Food-Based system but implements increased quantity of fruits, vegetables, and grain rich foods in their menu. [1] The Healthy Meals for Children Act is a modification of the National School Lunch Act; it allows schools to administer a more realistic approach to meet the school’s dietary menu and utilizes the 1994-1995 school nutrition meal system. [3] A systematic policy action was executed in a timely manner to successfully pass the Healthy Meals for Children Act. A major policy action occurred on July 19th, 1995 when the Act was introduced to the House of Representatives by the Economic and Educational Opportunities committee. By May 14th, 1996, the Act was amended, agreed upon, and passed by the House through a voice vote. [3] On May 15th, 1996 the Act was received by the Senate and was read twice. The Senate passed the Act on May 16th, 1996 without any...
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