Published: June 2021

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

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Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to help all children eat healthier. Healthy School Meals for all, also known as universal free school meals, provides all enrolled children in a school operating the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs a free breakfast or lunch, regardless of their family’s income. A systematic review included in a Special Issue in the journal Nutrients highlights the international evidence regarding the impact of healthy school meals for all on students’ school meal participation rates, nutrition and dietary intakes, food security, academic performance, attendance, body mass index (BMI), and school finances. This infographic presents the 7 key findings from the systematic review that reveal how healthy school meals for all benefit students and schools.

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