Sometimes change is good.

Federal government efforts targeted to kids to promote nutrition and healthful eating have come a long way from the mockably lame school lunch line posters many of us remember (or rather don’t remember) from our school days.

Want proof?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is adopting the interactive spirit of user-generated online content for its MyPlate Video Challenge.

The USDA announced the winners in late December, putting its money where its mouth is by offering a $9,000 cash prize to the winner.

The contest leverages the Web to spread USDA’s MyPlate message, encouraging Americans to fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables at every meal.

USDA’s video contest is the latest example of how the government is taking improving Americans’ eating habits and health more seriously than in the past.

It goes all the way to the president — or at least the president’s wife, with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity in one generation.

Along the same lines, USDA’s SuperTracker Web nutrition tool also helps people make healthy food choices, although it seems more complicated than it ought to be.

The produce industry continues to find itself in an enviable position with the government helping promote its products.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.