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US USDA Rolls Back Salt, Whole Grain Rules for Schools

06:15  02 may  2017
06:15  02 may  2017 Source:   nbcnews.com

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These Whole Grain Dinner Rolls are slightly crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, a delicious and nutritious complement to any meal. 1 qt 3 cups 2 Tbsp 1 tsp. 3. Pour flour, sugar, and salt in a commercial mixer (batch as needed). Using a dough hook attachment, mix on medium-low

Under the new USDA rules , schools would have the flexibility to raise salt -per-meal intake to somewhat higher levels. As for milk, 1 percent chocolate milk is now back on the menu at school breakfasts and lunches, the USDA said. According to an agency news release, Perdue called the

Image: © Pupils at lunch in Palo Alto, California. Image:

The Trump administration loosened Obama-era school lunch requirements Monday, saying schools don't need to try so hard to serve whole grains, fat-free milk and food low in salt.

It's just too hard for schools to do and kids don't like the food, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

"If kids aren't eating the food, and it's ending up in the trash, they aren't getting any nutrition — thus undermining the intent of the program," Perdue said in a statement. The Agriculture Department has jurisdiction over school food programs.

"Schools are experiencing challenges in finding the full range of products they need and that their students enjoy in whole grain-rich form. They need continued flexibility in meeting the whole grain requirements for school meals," USDA said in a statement headlined "Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again."

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The Department of Agriculture announced its plans to lower nutritional standards for grains , flavored milks and sodium in school cafeterias. First, the grains : The Obama-era rules required that schools must serve entirely “ whole grain -rich” foods, meaning that the product — whether it is pizza, pasta or

The U . S . Department of Agriculture announced the scaling back of school lunch standards implemented under the Obama The Trump administration says it is planning to permanently ease nutrition rules on school lunches, allowing children to eat food with more salt and less whole grain .

The rules were part of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed by President Barack Obama and promoted by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move" initiative.

"It's discouraging that just days into his tenure, one of the first things that Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will do is to roll back progress on the quality of the meals served to America's children," margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a statement.

"Ninety percent of American kids eat too much sodium every day. Schools have been moving in the right direction, so it makes no sense to freeze that progress in its tracks—and allow dangerously high levels of salt in school lunch."

Perdue said USDA would work on more permanent solutions but in the meantime would let school districts opt out of some of the requirements.

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A whole grain roll packed with a deliciously satisfying and healthy tuna salad containing onion, celery, eggs and a special dressing make our Tuna Salad on a Whole Grain Roll recipe the one to try for a light lunch. Source: USDA Standardized Recipes Project.

But Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says schools need more flexibility in serving meals that The rule will give administrators more leeway in serving up white breads, biscuits, tortillas and white pastas by requiring that only half of the grains served in school meals each week be whole - grain rich.

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"A perfect example is in the south, where the schools want to serve grits," said Perdue, a former governor of Georgia.

"But the whole grain variety has little black flakes in it, and the kids won't eat it. The school is compliant with the whole grain requirements, but no one is eating the grits. That doesn't make any sense."

Image: Michelle Obama at school lunch © Michelle Obama has lunch with pupils at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, in Janua... Image: Michelle Obama at school lunch

USDA also is giving schools a break on meeting low-sodium requirements through 2020, as well as looser requirement on the types of milk they can serve.

"Perdue will direct USDA to begin the regulatory process for schools to serve 1 percent flavored milk through the school meals programs," the agency said.

Related: Students Toss Fruits, Vegetables

"I've got 14 grandchildren, and there is no way that I would propose something if I didn't think it was good, healthful, and the right thing to do," Perdue said.

Hey kids, salt stays and grains go in school meals

  Hey kids, salt stays and grains go in school meals Schools won't have to cut more salt from meals just yet and some will be able to serve kids fewer whole grains, under changes to federal nutrition standards announced Monday.The move by President Donald Trump'sThe move by President Donald Trump's Agriculture Department partially rolls back rules championed by former first lady Michelle Obama as part of her healthy eating initiative. Separately, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday it would delay — for one year — Obama administration rules that will require calorie labels on menus and prepared food displays. The rule was scheduled to go into effect later this week.

The Agriculture Department will allow some schools to delay adding more whole - grains to meals this year, responding to criticism from school nutrition officials " Schools raised legitimate concerns that acceptable whole - grain rich pasta products were not available," said Kevin Concannon, USDA

The Agriculture Department has jurisdiction over school food programs. " Schools are experiencing challenges in finding the full range of products they need and that their students enjoy in whole grain -rich form. They need continued flexibility in meeting the whole grain requirements for school

The new approach is included in the budget agreement sent to Congress for a vote this week, which would fund the government through October.

"The Secretary of Agriculture shall allow States to grant an exemption from the whole grain requirements that took effect on or after July 1, 2014, and the States shall establish a process for evaluating and responding, in a reasonable amount of time, to requests for an exemption," the budget agreement reads.

They have to show they're suffering hardship in getting the products and getting students to eat them, the bill says.

Related: Budget Bill Loosens Sodium, Menu Requirements

Separately, the Food and Drug Administration delayed restaurant menu labeling requirements by a full year, to 2018. The restaurant industry had lobbied hard against the rule and succeeded in delaying it multiple times.

"The FDA has made the right decision to delay a rule that would have essentially dictated how every food service establishment in America with more than 20 locations — restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and more — writes and displays their menus," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in a statement.

CSPI didn't like that decision, either.

"Republicans are just as likely as Democrats to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related health problems," Wootan said. "Yet the Trump Administration is myopically putting Big Food's interests over the interests of American consumers."

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