USDA Releases New Guidelines for School Food
COLUMBIA - The USDA released new snack standards Thursday that require healthier options in school lunches and vending machines.
Laina Fullum, the Nutrition Service Director for Columbia Public Schools, said the school district saw this coming. She said Columbia Public Schools already follows the National School Lunch Program standards.
"We're already in compliance. All of Columbia public schools and all public schools across the nation will have to comply with the exact same rules that the National School Lunch program live by," Fullum said.
The new standards mandate replacing junk food in vending machines with 'smart snacks'. According to the USDA, this means stocking healthier options such as granola and peanuts. Under the new regulations, foods must meet a certain limit on saturated fat and sugar, and have no trans fat. Food served in school meals must be either be a vegetable, fruit, dairy product, or a whole grain product.
Schools nationwide must meet these standards by July 1, 2014 for the 2014-2015 school year.