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January 29, 2014
2 Min Read
The Canned Food Alliance (CFA) welcomes and supports thetimely recommendations aimed at increasing the nutritional content in schoolmeals within calorie needs in this week's report from the Institute of Medicine(IOM). Among the recommendations in its 2009 report School Meals: BuildingBlocks for Healthy Children, the IOM calls for increasing the amount andvariety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with reducing saturatedfat and sodium.
"Aligning school meals with the Dietary Guidelines forAmericans and improving the healthfulness of school meals is a critical step inaddressing the dietary needs for all children. It is noteworthy that the IOMReport considers that canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables allprovide options and variety for planning nutritious meals," said RichTavoletti, executive director of the CFA.
As these recommendations move to the U.S. Department ofAgriculture to be incorporated as regulations, school districts should considercanned foods as viable options:
-- According to a University of Californiaat Davis study,all forms of
fruits andvegetables - canned, fresh and frozen - are nutritionally
similar and contribute important nutrientsthat comprise a healthy
-- Canned fruits and vegetables are picked andpacked at their peak of
freshness,locking in nutrients until they are consumed. Thus, canned
foods have an extendedshelf life of at least two-years, making them
affordable tobuy in bulk and reduce waste.
-- Schools can choose from over 1,500 types ofcanned foods available
today, includingmore products than ever before, that are packed as
no-salt addedand reduced sodium options.
-- The canning process does not require the useof preservatives; precise
heating in thecanning process and vacuum sealing maintain the
quality, safetyand integrity of the product.
-- In some cases, nutrients in canned fruits andveggies are greater than
in their freshand frozen counterparts. For instance,the body's
ability to usethe heart-healthy antioxidant lycopene found in canned
tomatoes isincreased because of the heat from the canning process.
-- Canned fruits and vegetables do notcontribute significantly to
American's sugarand sodium intake. In fact, all cannedfruits and
fruit juicescontribute less than two percent of added sugars in most
American'sdiets, and vegetables contribute less than one percent of
sodium,according to "Food Sources of Added Sweeteners in the Diets of
Americans,"Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2004.
-- The majority of canned food is packed inrecyclable steel cans. Based
on SteelRecycling Institute data, steel cans are the most recycled
food andbeverage containers and contain a minimum of 25 percent
SOURCE: Canned Food Alliance
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