(02/03/2012)
The USDA proposed new nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs will be going into effect this year. The new regulations are a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which was signed into law in December.

The most significant changes to the lunch menu are the increase in fruits and vegetables - more than twice the current required amount.

Also, the new requirements for specific types of vegetables will reduce the number of ways a cafeteria can serve potatoes.

No more french fries and tater tots for lunch every day. They're still allowed, but limited.

The Proposed School Lunch Nutrition Standards The proposed nutrition standards for school lunches are: No more than half of the fruit offerings may be in the form of juice and all juice must be 100% full-strength.

Flavored milk is still allowed, but it must be fat-free. Non-flavored milk must be 1% milk fat or less.

When the regulations go into effect, half of the grains served at lunch must be "whole grain-rich". That means that at least 51% of the grain in a product is from whole grains. By five years, all the grains must be whole grain-rich.

The breakfast requirements are quite different from current breakfast standards. The serving of fruit will double from ½ cup per day to 1 cup per day. The servings of grains and meat or meat alternates will nearly double.

Similar to the change in lunch standards, grains served at breakfast will have to be whole grain-rich and milk will have to be 1% milk fat or less.


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