Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New USDA School Lunch Changes

As most of you are aware, the recently passed Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 included a mandate for healthier regulations on food being served under the National School Lunch Program. The USDA just came out with their proposed changes, and will be seeking public comment once they release the official policy. Below are some of the proposed changes:

Highlighted USDA School Lunch Changes From the Federal Register

  • Fruit requirements will go from ½ cup to 1 cup at breakfast.
  • Fruit and vegetable requirements will go from 1 to 1 ½ cups together to ¾ to 1 cup fruits and ½ to 1 cup vegetables at lunch.
  • Grain requirements will double and whole grains will be emphasized.
  • New requirements will include specific vegetables like dark leafy greens, orange vegetables, and legumes as well as a limit on starchy vegetables.
  • Full fat and low fat milk will no longer be offered.
  • Whole grains will be implemented in a staged manner as to adjust to the taste buds of students.
  • Meat alternatives will also be offered as main dishes including tofu.
  • Calorie levels for lunch will be limited to 550 to 650 for grades K through 5, 600 to 700 for grades 6 through 8, and 750 to 850 for grades 9 through 12.
The good news is that Organic Fresh Fingers' Fresh n' Local meal program already meets most if not all of these new requirements. And with the extra six cent per meal increase that was included in the bill, our meal program will be more affordable for public school districts, head starts, and other publicly funded programs.

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