Healthy school lunches

Federal guidelines for school lunch programs released

The Obama administration announced changes to government-subsidized school meals in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

The new guidelines will emphasize the dietary importance of more fruits and vegetables and less salt and fat in school lunches, according to the New York Times. In November, the food industry successfully lobbied Congress to block a proposal that would have reduced starchy foods and prevented schools from counting tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable. The latest rules do not restrict potatoes and tomato paste will continue to count as a serving of vegetables.

The 32 million children participating in school-lunch programs will see double the fruits and vegetables on their plate as well as exclusively whole-grain breads and pastas. Meals also will be prepared with a minimum and maximum daily caloric intake in mind, which will be based on student age.