Federal News in Brief

School Lunch Rules Revised Amid Criticism

By Nirvi Shah — January 08, 2013 1 min read

Caps on the amount of grain and protein in school meals—put in place just this school year—have been lifted for now.

In a letter last month to Republican U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that because schools have found limits on servings of grains and proteins “the top operational challenge” of new school meal requirements, schools don’t have to follow them for the rest of the school year.

The rules authorized under the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, limited schools’ ability to serve as much of what they wanted. For example, elementary schools that wanted to serve sandwiches every day could not because they would exceed caps on how many servings of grains students may have per week.

The revised nutrition standards for school meals took effect at the start of the 2012-13 school year. The new rules boost the amount of fruits and vegetables students must be served, require bread products to contain whole grains, and for the first time set both minimum and maximum calorie requirements.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 09, 2013 edition of Education Week as School Lunch Rules Revised Amid Criticism

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