USDA Proposes New Updates to School Nutrition Standards to Support Kids’ Health and Well-Being
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing new updates to the school nutrition standards, in line with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The proposed updates are aimed at providing kids with the right balance of nutrients for healthy and appealing meals, while giving schools plenty of time for planning and implementation. The goal is to support children’s growth, health, and well-being.
Research has found that school meals are the healthiest meals most kids get in a day, but the latest Dietary Guidelines show that many children are consuming too much sugar and sodium, leading to diet-related diseases. USDA is proposing updates to a few key areas to give kids the right balance of nutrients for healthy and tasty meals.
These changes include reducing added sugars in school meals to no more than 10% of calories per meal starting in the 2025-26 school year and limiting the amount of added sugar in flavored milk. The USDA is also proposing to reduce weekly sodium limits over many school years and emphasizing products that are primarily whole grain. Finally, the agency is proposing to strengthen support for local and domestic foods, including allowing schools to include locally grown, raised, or caught as a requirement for vendors bidding to provide food for their school meal programs.
The USDA will begin a 60-day public comment period on the proposals starting Feb. 7, 2023. The agency is also encouraging schools to take part in Farm to School Programs, which connect children with local agriculture. By offering children access to the healthful foods they need to grow and focus in school, USDA is helping ensure that kids get the nutrition they need for a bright future.
0. “Proposed Updates to the School Nutrition Standards | Food and Nutrition Service” USDA Food and Nutrition Service, 3 Feb. 2023, https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn/proposed-updates-school-nutrition-standards
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