USDA tweaks school lunch regulations - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

USDA tweaks school lunch regulations

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

After much criticism over the new school lunch regulations for your child's lunch menu, the USDA is finally listening to school administrators and making some changes.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains.

WGEM spoke with numerous parents Monday who say while this is a small step, they are still happy to see the USDA listening to the needs of their children.

"I'm glad that they're lifting it giving them more hearty food, I didn't have a problem with the fruits and the vegetable adding more of that, I just had a problem with them not giving like you said, the breads and the grains that help to sustain them for the rest of the day," said Carmen Klauser.

Carmen Klauser is happy to hear about USDA's change of heart when it comes to, school lunch menu's, and her daughter, Eden couldn't agree more.

"I go home and I'm really hungry every day, so if I eat more at school then I won't be as hungry during the day after lunch still," said Eden Klauser, a freshman at Quincy Junior High School.

The New revised USDA rules will allow school lunch planners use as many grains and as much meat as they want, while still keeping salt and calorie limits the same, something QPS Food services Director, Jean Kinder, says will make a difference.

"I was never able to offer a cheeseburger to our 7th and 8th graders because the cheese on the burger put our meat over the limit, so now we might be able to do something like that."

While Kinder says the menu changes will be subtle, there's no telling if even more changes are to come.

"You'll see a little bit of flexibility, we don't know what's going to happen in 2013 and 2014 so it's all up in the air right now, how flexible they're going to be and how long they're going to be flexible," said Kinder.

If you're wondering what the calorie limits are per meal for your child here they are:

Grades K-5 are allowed 550-650 calories per meal.
Grades 6- 8: 600-700 calories per meal.
Grades 9 -12: 750-850 calories per meal.

Kinder says while these calorie limits are still hard to work with, the new lift on meats and grains is a step in the right direction.

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