New School Meal Rules Proposed

Christopher Do, Reporter

Many changes have been made to school meals throughout the last couple of years, but this time, the USDA is recommending a reduction in sodium and added sugars.

“They want kids to have better diets because there’s a lot of childhood obesity and a lot of diseases come out of that like diabetes and heart disease so that’s what they’re trying to get, is just a healthier population,” family and consumer science teacher Jonette Shuja said.

Too much sodium and sugar can be bad for your body and can cause many problems. that’s why the USDA is suggesting a multi-year approach including two sodium and sugar reductions for breakfast (10% each in fall 2025 and fall 2027) and three for lunch (10% each in fall 2025, fall 2027, and fall 2029).

It causes things like higher blood pressure…you have higher blood pressure then you have problems that result from that like heart disease and other problems,” Shuja said.

Students have mixed opinions over the healthiness of school food.

Well, for what they are doing I think it’s healthy I would say healthy, cause you know they don’t put like a lot of, effort into the food, it’s kind of just whatever they can get their hands on, they give the students, you know it’s not something I would call healthy or not healthy,” Carlos Calderon said (11).

“I think some of the options they serve such as chocolate milk or strawberry which is very high in sugar, it’s not healthy for students, it’s basically you know sugar milk but the other options such as salads and yogurt are very healthy options for growing adults,” Edan Williams Parker said (11).

The USDA is looking to implement the cap on added sugars and sodium in school meals by 2025, however final changes would require legislation.