USDA to allow more meat, grains in schools
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has told members of Congress that the USDA will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers protested the limits, which went into effect in September, saying that children were not getting enough to eat, reports the Associated Press.
School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals.
“This flexibility is being provided to allow more time for the development of products that fit within the new standards while granting schools additional weekly menu planning options to help ensure that children receive a wholesome, nutritious meal every day of the week,” Vilsack said in a letter to Sen. John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican.
The limits were put in place to address childhood obesity. They set limits on calories and salt and phase in more whole grains. They also dictated how much of a certain food group can be served. While nutritionists and some parents have praised the new school lunch standards, others, including many conservative lawmakers, refer to them as government overreach. Yet many of those same lawmakers also have complained about hearing from constituents who say their kids are hungry at school.
The calorie limits remain in place while allowing school lunch planners to use as many grain and meat products as they want.
Sources: Washington Times, AP