USDA is rolling out a new school nutrition plan

Changes are coming to meals offered in public schools.

USDA has released a new rule focused on reducing added sugars, and sodium, and at the same time, supporting local farmers and ranchers.

Schools will be able to continue serving whole grains. When it comes to milk, flavored and unflavored choices will be allowed, but there will be new limits on added sugars. By the fall of 2027, no more than 10 percent of weekly calories may come from added sugars, and there will be a 10 percent reduction in sodium for breakfast choices and 15 percent less for lunch.

Secretary Ag Tom Vilsack says another key element will be supporting local food systems.

“We’re encouraging and authorizing, freeing up schools to continue to look for ways in which we can partner with producers and with local and regional food systems so that we create additional market opportunities for farmers and ranchers in the area, but also create a better connection between those who produce the food and those who consume.”

USDA received a lot of feedback on their plan, receiving more than 100,000 comments. It is expected to phase in beginning next fall through the start of the school year in 2027.

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