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School Meals

School meals include the provision of food for breakfast and lunch at elementary and secondary schools. In the United States, this food is usually provided through a cafeteria kitchen located on the school grounds, although food can be either prepared on campus or brought in from a separate food preparation facility. School meals provide an important source of nutrition to children in grade school in the United States and have been the focus of many intervention and regulatory efforts. This entry provides a brief history of the school meals program in the United States, current participation and regulations, the importance of school meals to child health, and future trends in this area.

History

School meal programs began out of nutritional concerns for impoverished children enrolled in school. ...

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