Maryland

Perdue makes changes to school lunches

Perdue makes changes to school lunches

47 ABC - Changes to school lunches are coming courtesy of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Perdue scaling back some the changes made under former first lady Michelle Obama in 2012.

Obama helping install regulations that would push for things like lower sodium levels in school lunches by 2022.

"We know that we've got obesity problems.  I applaud First Lady Michelle Obama for addressing those obesity problems in the past but it also has to do with exercise," Perdue said in a press conference before announcing his proclamation.

The proclamation relaxes three main standards for the upcoming school year whole grains, salt and milk.  

Judy Dzimiera a registered dietician for PRMC who spent 20 years in the Maryland School lunch program explained why the changes were needed.

"The schools are finding it a little bit tough I think to find products that would meet the lower sodium guidelines especially entrees," Dzimiera said.

Dzimiera explained the schools already have special made entrees like pizza that have lower sodium, fat, and cholesterol levels than what you would find at your local restaurant. The problem schools say is that if they lower those levels even more the taste would suffer and kids wouldn't eat it.

"You can have the best meal and the most healthy meal, but if the children aren't going to eat it then what's the point," Dzimiera said.

The changes to milk allow for schools to serve one percent fat flavored milk like strawberry or chocolate.

"When you're looking at the whole day's intake it really isn't too much of a difference, so when you're thinking about maybe 50 to 60 grams of fat for the whole day two grams is really not a lot in one serving," Dzimiera said.

Dzimeria said the bottom line is that school will still be healthy with the new guidelines, they just make it easier for schools to make food kids won't be throwing away.
 


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