Schools across the country now have additional options in serving students meals that are both healthy and appealing. USDA issued a final rule on school meals last week. A USDA release says the rule increases local flexibility in implementing school nutrition standards for milk, whole grains, and sodium. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the final rule will deliver forward-thinking strategies that ensure school nutrition standards are both healthy and practical. “USDA is committed to serving meals that are both delicious and satisfying,” Perdue says. “These common-sense flexabilities provide excellent customer service to our local school nutrition professionals while giving children the world-class food service they deserve.” The USDA actions will benefit almost 99,000 schools that feed 30 million children annually through the USDA’s school meal program. The new rule lets schools provide low-fat flavored milk to children in school lunch programs. It requires half of the weekly grains in school food programs to be whole grain-rich. It also gives schools more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals.
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