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February 25, 2010

Three experts on child nutrition

The new episode of IATP's Radio Sustain looks at child nutrition through three very distinct lenses. First, Rod Leonard, former USDA official and IATP board member, shares his experience of helping launch the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in the late 1960s. “The brain is growing at a much different rate up to age five than it does after that period, so […] the WIC program fulfills a social responsibility that can’t be met by any of the other food programs.”

We also talk with Rosemary Dederichs, Director of Nutrition for Minneapolis Public Schools, about a new set of USDA nutrition guidelines for the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. She was part of a panel of experts charged with bringing nutritious foods to the lunch table while staying within budget, a complex task when you consider that the National School Lunch program feeds more than 30 million kids every day.

Farm to school programs offer one emerging option for districts looking to bring fresh produce to their menus. JoAnne Berkenkamp, director of IATP’s Local Foods program, describes her goal as “emphasiz[ing] farm to school strategies that work within schools’ budgets. […] That’s critical, because when it works within the existing budget environment, that’s when you get change that becomes woven into how they do business. That’s a form of change that’s sustainable.”

Listen to the episode here (mp3).

Andrew Ranallo

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