WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) — Recommendations by the Institute of Medicine are expected to be used to make over U.S. school lunch and breakfast menus, nutrition advocates said.
Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said schools shouldn’t wait for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final regulations to implement Institute of Medicine’s sensible new school meal standards.
“The USDA should help schools work toward the new standards, so by the time they are required schools are already most of the way there,” Wootan said in a statement. “When Congress reauthorizes child nutrition legislation, it also should give USDA and school districts the resources and support they need to make these healthier meals appeal even to the most finicky of young eaters.”
The recommendations, which the Agriculture Department will write into regulations, will increase the amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in school meals; reduce the content of sodium and trans fat; and ensure low- or no-fat milk is provided, Wootan said.
The changes will help address the biggest problems in children’s diets and foster healthier eating habits, advocates said. However, the Institute of Medicine unfortunately didn’t recommend limits on added sugars, Wootan said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International