In 2012, Michelle Obama and former Secretary Of Agriculture Tom Vilsack established a new program that required school lunches to meet certain nutritional standards. These guidelines have since been loosened under the direction of President Trump's Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, one of many changes being made to nutritional standards under the Trump Administration.

Healthy hunger-free act

Former first lady Michelle Obama made childhood nutrition a priority through her work with the Department of Agriculture and the Let's Move Campaign. Working with former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Obama created the healthy hunger-free act in 2012.

This act was designed to get schools to offer healthier lunches. Schools are allowed to set their own prices for meals but they are required to have prices offered on a sliding scale that takes income into account.

In order to meet new federal regulations, all schools would have to meet the standards set by the healthy hunger-free act. New regulations included having all grains offered be whole-grain rich, meaning that they contained a certain amount of whole grains and kept sodium levels low. Additionally, the only type of flavored milk that schools would be allowed to sell was fat-free. Schools would also be required to offer a fruit or vegetable at every meal.

Trump administration relaxing regulations

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced that they would be loosening some of the standards set by the healthy hunger-free act in 2012. This comes after feedback from schools suggested that it was too difficult to meet the standards on sodium levels, that kids would not eat the whole grains, and that children did not like fat-free milk as much.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

One area of complaint for schools in the southern United States was that although they offered whole grain grits as required by the regulations, kids would not eat them because of the black pieces they contained. The argument made was that these new standards were not helping kids because they were not eating at all or failing to eat enough.

New regulations will allow low-fat milk to be served in addition to fat-free milk. This is designed to increase milk consumption overall. Additionally, schools will not be required to make sure that all of the grains they offer are whole-grain rich. Instead, only half of the grains they serve must be whole grains. The vegetable requirement will stay the same, although schools will be allowed to include more sodium in the meals they offer.