Trump to roll back Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules on vegetables, fruits
The Trump administration on Friday announced plans to roll back school lunch standards on vegetables and fruits originally promoted by Michelle Obama, unveiling the proposal on the former first lady’s birthday.
The new standards will allow schools more flexibility “because they know their children best,” the Agriculture Department said in a press release.
“Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement.
The proposed rules build on previous steps taken by the Trump administration to unwind the controversial school lunch rules championed by Obama as part of her “Let’s Move!” healthy living campaign. Those rules were implemented through an executive order signed by former President Obama.
The new rules would loosen requirements for serving size on fruits and vegetables. The latest change follows a 2019 rollback of restrictions on milk and sodium content in school lunches.
Critics said the change will pave the way for greasier, more unhealthy foods such as pizza, french fries and burgers.
In a recent op-ed for The Hill, Dr. Rachel Borton, the director of the Family Nurse Practitioner online program at Bradley University, said healthy school meals are essential to both good physical and mental health, especially for low-income students who are more likely to receive their only healthy meal of the day while at school.
Updated Jan. 18 at 12:45 p.m.