MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is emphasizing a healthy school lunch ahead of the school year.
The CDC says kids "attend school for 6 hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school," so it's important to have the right food and snacks. Officials recommend using more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
They say kids who take part in school lunch programs take in more nutrients and drink more milk than those who don't participate.
"Ensuring that students have adequate time to eat their meal (i.e., at least 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch)," is also a core part of school nutrition according to the CDC's website.
The CDC says there are many programs to help children pay for breakfast and lunch at school. Their website says there are also opportunities for kids to qualify for free meals and snacks in after-school programs.