USDA to publish new school lunch rule December 12th

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue takes a big bite out of his bacon cheeseburger at the Discovery Elementary School cafeteria, in Arlington, VA. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

The USDA says they will soon publish a new final rule for school lunch dietary guidelines.  Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says schools have faced challenges serving meals that are both appetizing to students and meet nutrition standards.

Perdue says the new rule will give food programs the option of offering flavored low-fat milk, and require half of the weekly grains served to be whole grain-rich.  The new rule also gives schools more time to reduce sodium levels in their menus.  The change does not include 2% or whole milk.

The new rule is being applauded by the National Milk Producers Federation.  President Jim Mulhern says USDA’s own studies show students drank less milk after low-fat chocolate milk was removed from schools, and this change will help promote milk consumption.

The Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements rule will be published in the Federal Register December 12th.  It is part of the reforms developed to comply with President Trump’s Executive Order to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens.

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