Rep. Horn Introduces Bipartisan Childhood Nutrition BillTue, 21 Jul 2020 13:57:28 CDT
On Tuesday, Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) introduced the bipartisan Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act, a bill supporting hands-on health and nutritional education for children. Research shows that children and adults who suffer from diet-related diseases score lower on tests, miss more days of school, and advance less in their careers. The Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act would create a pilot program to improve student health and nutrition and to fund school gardens and other evidence-based nutritional programs for kids.
"Improving childhood nutrition is one of the smartest investments we can make in our youngest generation," said Congresswoman Kendra Horn. "Nutrition education and hands-on projects like school gardens help kids eat better and stay focused in the classroom. Those are good habits that can have a lifelong impact. Bringing down the cost of health care and strengthening our schools are issues we must tackle together, and today's bill addresses both. By teaching healthy food habits, we can improve learning and health outcomes for Oklahoma's children."
"We have a responsibility to the next generation to educate and prepare them for their future and in return, the future of our country," said Congressman Don Bacon. "Nutrition education is fundamental as are hands-on-projects. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to many health obstacles which can ultimately lead to community delay. This bill addresses childhood nutrition in schools, provides valuable hands on learning, and encourages industry partnerships. Teaching practical healthy eating habits can improve educational performance and overall outcomes for children across Nebraska and the country."
Nutrition programs created under Congresswoman Horn's bill must feature evidence-based teaching techniques proven to maximize healthy food consumption and meal participation. Evidence based strategies include hands-on learning, school gardens, taste testing, student engagement and farm-to-school practices. Priority will be given to schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood obesity or other diet-related illnesses and those in which 40 percent or more of students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. Projects must also be located in diverse locations including rural, urban, and suburban areas with at least one project located on an Indian reservation or serving a school in which the majority of students are members of a Tribal Nation.
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) are leading an identical version of this legislation on the Senate side.
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