USDA Improves Nutrition Standards for Free & Reduced Lunch Program

USDA finished changes to the nutrition standards they expect participating schools to follow who take part in the USDA’s free and reduced breakfast/lunch programs. Schools across our country are serving breakfasts and lunches to nearly 30 million children every day.

Healthy school meals are the main source of nutrition for more than half of these students and are an essential part of the educational landscape.

USDA says their new standards were”… shaped by a host of stakeholders, including parents, devoted teachers, school administrators, school nutrition directors, and industry leaders, and are informed by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans”.

Here are the top line changes that will be implemented over the next couple of years:

  • Reduced added sugars in school breakfasts;
  • Making it easier to offer healthy proteins at breakfast;
  • Scaling back sodium levels;
  • Incentivizing fruits and vegetables and whole grains;
  • Making it easier for schools to accommodate vegetarian diets and the cultural and religious food preferences of students.

To learn more about the updated school nutrition standards, please visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.