USDA announced it is making permanent the current flexibility that allows schools to serve larger portions of lean protein and whole grains in the National School Lunch Program.  USDA implemented the current flexibility in the meat and grain servings in 2012 after it had received criticism from school districts, local governments, and lawmakers over the cost of the new rule and the amount of meat and grains allowed in school lunches.

 

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The rule as part of the “Healthy Hunger Free-Kids Act” of 2010 still maintains that school meals should remain within recommendations for total calories: 550-650 calories for kindergarten through grade five; 650-700 calories for grades six through eight; and 750-850 calories for grades nine through 12. Last year, Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) introduced legislation to make permanent the current flexibility in meat and grains in school lunches.