USDA has announced updates to the administration of the National School Food Programs.
These flexibility are introduced to increase student program participation and to address the nations hungry children. Expansion of the program available foods will increase the flexibility to create more appealing foods that targets the students we serve. Although some of the new changes my present higher calorie intake, the meals served are well balanced.
The Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements final rule offers schools new options as they serve meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and other federal child nutrition programs.
Provides the option to offer flavored, low-fat milk to children participating in school meal programs, and to participants ages six and older in the Special Milk Program for Children (SMP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);Requires half of the weekly grains in the school lunch and breakfast menu be whole grain-rich; and Provides more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals.
Perdue said schools have faced challenges serving meals that both are appetizing to students and meet the nutrition standards. “If kids are not eating what is being served, they are not benefiting, and food is being wasted,” said Perdue. “We all have the same goals in mind -- the health and development of our young people. USDA trusts our local operators to serve healthy meals that meet local preferences and build bright futures with good nutrition.”
“We will continue to listen to schools, and make common-sense changes as needed, to ensure they can meet the needs of their students based on their real-world experience in local communities,” said Perdue.