Untitled 1 Real Food for Kids - Montgomery, LLC
 Real Food for Kids - Montgomery  

Sugar Donate

Within MCPS schools, many a la carte and vending items sold are high in sugar, including added sugars (note: the American Heart Association recommends that children 3 and up consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Example Sugary School Mealrecommend that no more than 10% of daily calories come from added sugar). RFKM has produced a chart summarizing added sugars in MCPS foods. RFKM advocates that complete school meals, including snacks, stay within or be below these recommended guidelines.

Chemical Additives

Most of the foods served in MCPS meals are processed and contain chemical additives, some of which have been shown toSlushie Machines cause cancer, and hyperactivity and other behavioral impairments in children. Food dyes and combinations of food dyes are particularly implicated in causing hyperactivity in a certain portion of susceptible children. These chemicals are listed as "caution" or "avoid" by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. RFKM has produced a chart of foods served in MCPS with these chemicals and has asked MCPS to eliminate the following chemicals from its foods: artificial flavors (plus vanillin), artificial colors (including red dye #2, #3 and #40, yellow dye #5 & #6, blue dye #1 and #2, and caramel coloring), artificial sweeteners (including aspartame, acesulfame potassium, cyclamates, saccharin and sucralose), BHA, BHT, Propyl gallate, TBHQ, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG and other glutamate-containing additives, including autolyzed yeast, Torula yeast, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein), partially hydrogenated oils/artificial trans fats, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, sodium benzoate, Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), sodium nitrite/nitrate, Mycoprotein (Quorn), and sulfites/SO2.  

Progress: In September of 2014, MCPS announced a new policy prohibiting from future bids a number of the chemicals on our desired remove list. In fall 2016, MCPS announced that it had stopped selling Cheetos and Doritos in schools, due to the large number of chemical additives that they contain. In the fall of 2018, a new Wild White Doritos was introduced as an a la carte item in MCPS that does not contain food dyes.

Additional Resources

Clean Labels: Public Relations or Public Health?
Seeing Red: Time for Action on Food Dyes


"I urge you to offer healthy foods to the kids of Montgomery County. It is appalling what they are currently being served. What are we teaching them when we serve them food that is not healthy for them? Let's offer healthy food and teach them now how to eat properly for the rest of their lives." 
- an RFKM Supporter

If the school lunches were healthier, I would probably allow my children
to have the choice of buying them. Unfortunately, I find the offerings
unhealthy -- processed, too much sugar, and full of unhealthy ingredients that I don't want my children to be exposed to. Good eating habits start at a young age and our children deserve better meals than what is currently on offer at the schools. Offer them healthy food and you might be surprised.

- an MCPS Parent

         Copyright © 2018   Chesapeake Institute for Local Sustainable Food and Agriculture (RFKM's fiscal sponsor)