We’ve all seen those “appetizing” meals Michelle Obama’s policies created in our schools.
Now they are a thing of the past. Schools won’t have to cut salt in meals and can serve kids fewer whole grains. That’s because changes have been made to the federal nutrition standards.
The Trump admin is rolling back the rules championed by the former first lady. They were announced in a press release headlined “Making School Meals Great Again”.
As his first major action in office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the department will delay the requirement on lowering the amount of sodium in meals while continuing to allow waivers for regulations that all grains on the lunch line must be rich in whole grains.
That means that they are more than half whole grain.
Schools could also serve 1 percent milk instead of the nonfat now required.
Perdue made a great point that must have gone over Michelle’s head: if kids aren’t eating, they aren’t getting any nutrients, period.
“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,” he said.
Remember Michelle, kids can be picky. And they can be stubborn. If they don’t want to eat something, what is the teacher supposed to do, force it down the child’s throat? Not going to happen.
Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, said some schools in the South have had problems with grits, because ‘the whole grain variety has little black flakes in it’ and kids won’t eat it.
‘The school is compliant with the whole-grain requirements, but no one is eating the grits,’ Perdue said. ‘That doesn’t make any sense.’
Perdue traveled to a school in Leesburg, Virginia, to make the announcement. Leesburg’s mayor Kelly Burk, and about 20 others protest outside of the school before the announcement.
“Some people don’t like regulations, but these are important regulations that impact kids,” Burk said.
People can protest all they want but the changes made reflect suggestions from the School Nutrition Association, which represents school nutrition directors and companies that sell food to schools.
The group battled Obama’s rules that set fat, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond, all part of her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign.
How can kids move when they have no energy, though?
Schools have long been required to follow government nutrition rules if they accept federal reimbursements for free and reduced-price meals for low-income students, but these standards were stricter.
The Trump administration changes leave most of the Obama administration rules in place, including rules that students must take fruits and vegetables on the lunch line. Some schools have asked for changes to that policy, saying students often throw them away.
Some schools are saying that because the rules have been in place for five years, many students have gotten used to the healthier food.
Still, they say finding foods high in whole grains still poses a problem.
And in case her food program being dismantled wan’t enough for Michelle, her “Let Girls Learn” initiative has was also abolished, Peace Corps employees were told.
In a letter to Peace Corps employees first revealed by CNN, its acting director Sheila Crowley said ‘we will not continue to use the Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a stand-alone program’.
Mrs Obama and her husband had launched the initiative in 2015 to encourage education for adolescent girls in developing world countries.
‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world,’ the letter said.