Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

New U.S. Nutrition Rules for School Foods


WebMD News from HealthDay

Lower limits on the amount of fat, calories, sugar and salt in all foods sold in U.S. schools were finalized this week by federal officials.

Included in the new Department of Agriculture restrictions are snacks sold around the school and items on the "a la carte" line in cafeterias, which have never been regulated before, the Associated Press reported.

The new rules, which apply to 100,000 schools nationwide, allow states to regulate student bake sales.

The regulations -- required under a child nutrition law passed by Congress in 2010 -- are meant to combat childhood obesity and could lead to major changes in what many children eat at school, according to the AP.

Some schools do provide healthier lunch menus and vending machine choices, but others still sell high-fat, high-calorie foods. The nutritional content of free and low-cost school breakfasts and lunches subsidized by the federal government are already regulated. However, many school lunchrooms also have "a la carte" lines that sell other foods, many of which are unhealthy.

Under the new rules, those "a la carte" lines will have to offer healthier choices, such as low-fat hamburgers, yogurt and fruit cups, the AP reported.

Another major change under the new rule will be a near-ban on high-calorie beverages. Only sports drinks and sodas that contain 60 calories or less per 12-ounce serving will be allowed in high schools. Many companies have already developed low-calorie sports drinks and many diet teas and diet sodas are available.

In elementary and middle schools, beverage choices will be limited to water, carbonated water, 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and low fat and fat-free milk, including fat-free flavored milks, the AP reported.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow