Most schools will be required to increase their availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and to provide fat-free and low-fat milk. The levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals will also have to be reduced. School meals will also have to meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements.
The improvements to the school meal programs were largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The new rules take effect March 26, 2012. Schools will have until July 1, 2012 to comply.
Related Links: USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals
IOM School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children
USDA Healthy Meals and Healthy Kids
The National School Lunch Program