USDA sets new rules for school lunches

The United States Department of Agriculture is issuing new rules for the school lunches students are served.

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The USDA is considering the regulations as transitional nutrition standards that will be put into effect over the next two years, CNN reported.

They are intended to give “schools to transition from current, pandemic operations, toward more nutritious meals,” the agency said.

Schools will be allowed to offer low-fat, or 1%, milk along with nonfat and other low-fat options. At least 80% of breakfasts and lunches must be whole-grain rich, and starting in the 2023-2024 school year, lunches must have a 10% lower sodium rate weekly than they do currently.

Some of the new guidelines that are being introduced are to replace the changes made in the previous administration, The Washington Post reported.

But not everyone believes that the initiative goes far enough.

Standards for fruit and vegetable requirements are staying the same as in 2012. There is also no limit set on added sugars, the Post reported.

The USDA will also be introducing other longer-term standards for the 2024-2025 school year.

The last time the USDA revamped the nutrition standards was in 2012.

The changes were introduced as school food service groups are having difficulty with the continuing coronavirus pandemic, rising food prices and supply chain disruptions, CNN reported.

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