The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for setting nutritional standards in school, has delayed an Obama-era rule aimed at making school meals healthier for children – something former first lady Michele Obama fought hard to introduce.
Under the interim final rule, schools get out of having to reduce sodium levels in school meals for the next academic year. It is a move designed to give food producers, including meat processors, more breathing space to tweak recipes to reduce salt levels in school meals.
Give kids what they ‘want to eat’
“Schools need flexibility in menu planning, so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” said USDA secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“Schools want to offer food that students actually want to eat. It doesn’t do any good to serve nutritious meals if they wind up in the trash can. These flexibilities give schools the local control they need to provide nutritious meals that schoolchildren find appetising.”
The delay to making school lunches healthier for schoolchildren is borne out of US President Donald Trump’s executive order to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.