What's New > USDA Releases Long-Awaited School Lunch Standards

USDA Releases Long-Awaited School Lunch Standards

posted on March 1, 2012

school_lunch.jpgOn Thursday, January 13, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published revised nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs in the Federal Register. The proposed changes would increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk and reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and calories in school meals.  Unfortunately, the guidelines do not address sugar content, allow pizza to be counted as a vegetable, and does not limit servings of French fries.

The new standards will:

  • Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week
  • Increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods
  • Offer only fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Limit calories based on the age of children being served for proper portion sizes
  • Encourage less of each: saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.