New rules will reduce the amount of sodium and sugar found in school meals

The new rules will mean fewer processed foods and more produce in meals.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Apr 28, 2024, 1:28 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new standards for school breakfasts and lunches that will dramatically reduce the amount of sodium and sugar served to children.
Starting next year, the standards call for certain products including breakfast cereals, yogurt and flavored milk to have specific limits on added sugars.
By the 2027-2028 school year, added sugars cannot make up more than 10% of the total weekly calories for school breakfast and lunch.
As for sodium, the guidelines will require a 15% cut in lunches and a 10% in breakfast. This will be phased in by the 2027-2028 school year.
The new rules will mean fewer processed foods and more produce in meals.
"Children will be eating healthier foods as a result and we couldn't be more pleased. Sugars are a source of calories that have very little and no nutritional value. And one can eat food that tastes really, really good, that doesn't have to have those added sugars," says Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, chief medical officer for prevention at the American Heart Association.


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