(National Sentinel) States Rights: Stating that school lunch menus should be more flexible to allow for more choices and local control, the Trump administration is rolling back more of former first lady Michelle Obama’s unpopular school lunch mandates.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday a new rule that will take effect July 1, before the 2018-2019 school year, after the public comment period, that relaxes sodium limits and Obama’s whole-grain requirements.
In addition, the rule will again permit milk with 1 percent fat back on the menu, Breitbart News reported. That will include chocolate milk.
Currently, public schools are allowed to serve only flavored milk that is nonfat or unflavored milk that is low-fat or nonfat, ABC News reported.
“Schools need flexibility in menu planning so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in May after unveiling the rule change. “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.”
Perdue has been dismissing Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch rules all year.
“This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” he said last spring.
The Ag secretary also criticized the amount of waste Obama’s rules generated because students would not eat the foods she demanded be served.
Wasting food was also an economic drain on scores of public school districts and taxpayers.
In fiscal year 2015 alone, Obama’s rules cost schools an additional $1.22 billion.
Groups like the School Nutrition Association and the School Superintendents Association have been supportive of Perdue’s efforts to ditch the Obama-era lunch rules.
They noted recently that the “overly prescriptive regulatory requirements” of Obama’s school lunch program had forced school districts to “financially subsidize meals at the expense of educational programs.”
The groups also said Obama’s nutritional regulations added ten cents to the cost of every lunch and 27 cents to every breakfast.
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