Today is the day. The National School Lunch Program has its first thorough revision in 15 years and now more closely aligns to the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.
In the past few months, I talked (blogged) a lot about the new rules based on the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine and the challenges they faced in Congress. The potato lobbyists won their fight and the limits to potatoes were directly changed (omitted), but my indirectly be implemented. I found it very important and telling that the DGAs and the school rec's recognized that starchy foods and vegetables needed to be limited in the diets of the American adult and child. These types of foods are more calorically dense. It is a good idea to limit them in schools because this could lead children to limit them as adults. We eat what we're fed.
The school lunches still have to limit calories, salt, saturated and trans fat. Servings of leafy vegetables and fruits must increase. No whole milk will be available. All milk will be 1% or less fat. (that is another thing for adults to consider - whole milk and even 2% milk is too high in saturated fat to be considered healthy). I think that these conditions will lead to less potatoes, peas and corn served, even if the actual mandate to limit them was thrown out. I believe this because the schools still have to keep the calories low and trust me, potatoes and marcaroni are not low on calories.
If you are interested in more information on how the NSLP played out - my previous posts on this issue are available here.
For news on the implementation that started this week, this article from the NY Times may interest you.