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SNA urges Congress to roll back Smart Snacks in School rule

As Congress prepares to reauthorize First Lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' Michelle Obama on conversations with her daughters: 'Me and Barack, we can't get a word in' Michelle Obama offers advice with release of young readers' edition of 'Becoming' memoir MORE's prized Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the School Nutrition Association wants Congress to let schools sells all healthy meal options a la carte. 

SNA said the Smart Snacks in School rule forced schools to take a number of the healthy food options part of reimbursable meal programs off a la carte menus, limiting student choices and reducing revenue for school meal programs.

“Allowing foods that meet nutrition standards for school meals to be sold as daily competitive food choices can help preserve the financial stability of school meal programs and ensure students can choose from a variety of healthy choices in the cafeteria,” SNA said in a release.

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The nonprofit has been lobbying for more relaxed rules for healthier lunches. In addition to asking Congress to revert back to the standard that requires 50 percent of all grains to be whole grain rich and keep sodium levels where they are, SNA wants school food authorities to be able to decide whether students are required to take a fruit or vegetable as part of a reimbursable meal.

The rule now, which requires students to take a half a cup of fruit or vegetables with every breakfast and lunch, SNA said increases waste and costs.

According to a recent survey, SNA found that 81 percent of school nutrition professionals indicated an increase in the amount of food being thrown away by students at lunch since the new rule took effect.