Earlier this year, the USDA issued a proposed rule to strengthen nutrition standards consistent with the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (“Child Nutrition Programs: Revisions to Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”). The proposed rule would reduce sodium by 20 percent in school breakfasts and 30 percent in school lunches through a series of two-year 10 percent reductions through 2030. The proposed sodium limits apply to an entire meal averaged over the course of the week, allowing schools to balance higher sodium meals with lower sodium meals throughout the week. That ensures that schools can still serve a saltier cheesy pizza or cheeseburger one day, and a not-so salty entrée the next, which already gives dairy companies the flexibility to sell schools anything from Swiss cheese (a lower sodium cheese) to feta (one of the saltiest cheeses).
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