New school lunches requirements

Many children complain about the healthy school lunches and how to change them, but a lot of parents with children in schools are very happy with the healthy school lunches. Michelle Obama’s campaign “Let’s Move” was an attempt to lower the child obesity rates by putting nutritional standards in school lunches, and encouraging kids to be active. She set many bars in food safety as well for kids, making sure that all food packaging was properly labelled so it was safe for kids with allergies or other medical conditions. According to the American Medical Association, this campaign actually worked. The child obesity rate in kids ages 2-5 has decreased by 5.4%. It may not seem like a big change, but it definitely helped the child obesity problem. Now with a new president, and new ideas, the standards for school lunches have changed once again.

Some specific changes that are going to happen are to whole grains, salt and milk. As far as whole grains go, states with trouble meeting the 100% whole grain rule (100% of grains served must be whole grains or grains that contain an endosperm, bran, and germ) can get an exemption to only serve 50% whole grains. Salt requirements are being lessened so schools don’t have to meet sodium requirements, and live up to what some believed to be unrealistic standards. In regards to milk, the only changes that are occurring are to the type of milk that can be served. The standard previously was that if the milk was flavored (chocolate, strawberry, etc.) it had to be fat-free, but now it can be 1% instead.

President Donald Trump has changed the standards for school lunches under a new slogan labelled “make school meals great again.” According to PBS’s Newshour his argument for this change is that it will lower the cost of school lunches. The USDA reports that school lunches in 2012 (after the increased health requirements were enacted) cost a total of $11.6 billion dollars, but before healthier school lunches were put into schools, the cost was $6.1 billion in total.

Making the school lunches less healthy would decrease the cost of school lunches, but it could also increase the child obesity rates. The USDA also said that the amount of waste from raw, and cooked, vegetables has risen in the years since the new restrictions have been implemented, so the standards are perhaps defeating themselves because kids aren’t even getting the full nutritional value of the lunch.

Another argument made by the president, in favor of changing the school lunch restrictions, was that by having only healthy options it put the agriculture industry in a bad place. This was created by forcing them to conform to unrealistic standards and constant quality checks. In an official statement, on the now president’s campaign website, it even went as far as to call the FDA the “food police” and regulation of school food “overkill.” The FDA didn’t fire back at the comments on the website, only saying that the repeals of health regulations for school foods would be unpopular because people are now much more concerned about healthy food.

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