So is white bread and saltier food. During that time, Michelle Obama was seen by many as a leading advocate in the fight against childhood obesity. The federal nutrition standards unveiled yesterday allow schools to serve fewer whole grains, 1% flavored milk can be used instead of non-fat. Meals can not be nutritious without being consumed, he told reporters after a meal of chicken nuggets and salad shared with fifth grade students, calling for a balance between sodium and whole grain content and "palatability".
The USDA announced Monday new guidelines for school meal programs.
"If kids aren't eating the food, and it's ending up in the trash, they aren't getting any nutrition-thus undermining the intent of the program", Perdue said during his remarks at the school.
"At the end, it will cost less overall for the government", said Knight.
"I applaud former first lady Michelle Obama for addressing those obesity problems in the past", he said.
The act, which was part of the former first lady's broader Let's Move Campaign, targeted federally subsidized school meals, and had increased requirements for serving sizes and nutrition standards.
Congressional Republicans and school nutrition groups have complained that the regulations were too restrictive and too costly to implement, noted Education Week. "Our kids may eat a lot of whole grains where kids up in the northern part of Georgia, they may not be accustomed to that".
The easing of federal sodium restrictions in school lunches could even be described as based in science, as recent studies have started questioning the health benefits of low-sodium diets.
Before he signed the proclamation, Perdue and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., ate chicken nuggets, fruit and salad with children at Catoctin Elementary.
"School Nutrition Association is appreciative of Secretary Perdue's support of school meal programs in providing flexibility to prepare and serve healthy meals that are appealing to students", stated SNA CEO Patricia Montague.
"We had kids sneaking into the school cafeterias with salt shakers and ketchup", he added. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., after signing an interim rule created to provide flexibility for school meals at Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va., Monday, May 1, 2017.
This is just the beginning, Roberts said.
The association often clashed with the Obama administration, which phased in the healthier school meal rules starting in 2012. The proclamation said the U.S.D.A. will take all necessary regulatory actions to implement a long-term solution. In light of these "palatability issues" Perdue said he decided to make a change.
"This looks like something that's being done for the sake of industry at the expense of kids", Muñoz said. "It just opens your rulemaking up to litigation because you have to prove there's a rational basis". Relaxing the sodium requirements is also worrisome, she said.