The U.S. Senate recently dealt a blow to the efforts of parents across the country who are trying to make sure their children are provided healthy food choices at school. The Senate voted to block a key element of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to update the nutrition standards for school meals. The House of Representatives earlier included a provision in its agriculture spending bill that would require the USDA to toss out its proposed standards and start over.
The USDA has proposed common-sense standards to include more nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as part of school cafeteria menus. The standards also would limit salt, unhealthy fats, and calories. Thousands of schools across the country are already proving these healthy changes can be made, and at reasonable costs. For those schools that haven’t, the agency is providing new resources and support to help them strengthen their financial operations and make these healthy menu changes.
Margo G. Wootan, D.Sc.
Director, Nutrition Policy
Center for Science in the Public Interest