The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its draft regulations for the Child Nutrition Act this week. After many concerns about the costs and requirements of the new law, NSBA’s advocacy department is carefully reading the proposal and will issue a response in coming weeks.
The proposed regulations require schools to serve more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. One of the biggest changes, though, is the limit on sodium contentmeals would have to have at most only half of what is currently allowed. Those guidelines are based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine.
The USDA provided a sample before-and after school lunch menu to show the proposed changes in the works. For Monday through Wednesday, the main entrees would change from a bean and cheese burrito, pizza sticks, and hot dog, all served with sides such as applesauce, canned pears, and celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing, to a submarine sandwich on wheat bread, whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, and chef salad, accompanied by items like jicama, green pepper strips, and kiwi slices.
NSBA had many concerns, particularly related to the lack of full funding and implementation of the new law. More information about the law is available on the school nutrition resource page.
The proposed regulations are available in the Jan. 13 Federal Register. School officials and the public may also give responses and recommendations to the USDA. All responses are due by April 13.