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Agriculture Headlines


USDA to Update Nutrition Standard

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 4:42:57 CST
USDA has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to update the nutrition standards for meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. The proposal would require schools to offer more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; offer only fat-free or low-fat fluid milk; reduce the sodium content of school meals substantially over time; control saturated fat and calorie levels; and minimize trans fat.
For school lunch, the proposed rules would change the minimum amount of meat/meat alternate to a 1.6 ounce to 2.4 ounce daily average over five days from the current 1.5 ounce to 3 ounce daily average over five days. According to the rule: The use of processed meats would be discouraged because those available at this time are usually high in sodium. If offered, processed meats would have to be low in fat. As a result schools would have to offer lean meats/meat alternates.
Based on the rule, Tofu is not considered an allowable meat alternate at this time. USDA is interested in receiving comments from the child nutrition community proposing a methodology that could be used for crediting commercially prepared tofu. The proposed changes are based on recommendations from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine‘s report “School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children.”


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