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New Nutrition Rules

WHAT A TREAT! These kids in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are excited about their school lunch in December 2021. ANDREW RUSH—PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/AP

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating school nutrition standards. The announcement was made on February 4. The new rules are meant to help cafeterias serve more-healthy meals. Schools have found it difficult to provide nutritious meals because of supply shortages. These have been caused by the pandemic.

Tom Vilsack is the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He says the new policies should get schools on track toward meeting higher nutrition guidelines.

Cafeterias will be allowed to serve low-fat chocolate milk instead of only nonfat. There will be a new standard for the percentage of whole grains in school meals. And in fall 2023, the sodium limit for meals must decrease by 10%.

School meals have become more healthy since 2012. The USDA set higher standards then. Vilsack says the new rules “will help schools transition to a future that builds on the tremendous strides they’ve made . . . over the past decade.”

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