USDA Sets Guidelines for Healthier School Meals

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, January 26, 2012

School meals for millions of children will be healthier under obesity-fighting U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards unveiled on Wednesday that double the amount of fruits and vegetables in cafeteria lunches - but won't pull French fries from the menu.

In the first major changes to school meals in more than 15 years, the new USDA guidelines will affect nearly 32 million children who eat at school. They will cost about $3.2 billion to implement over the next five years.

"Improving the quality of the school meals is a critical step to building a healthy future for our kids," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

The new meal requirements are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by first lady Michelle Obama. President Barack Obama approved the measure in late 2010.

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