Heartland school district reacts to new proposed rules limiting sugar in meals

A southern Illinois school district reacts after the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new nutrition standards for school meals.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 6:38 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANNA, Ill. (KFVS) - Changes could be on the way for your student’s school lunch.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing changes to the foods that are served for breakfast and lunch. The goal is to improve nutrition and to provide healthier options for students.

The changes include cereal, yogurt, flavored milk and breakfast pastries that contain sugar.

According to the USDA, by the fall of 2027, added sugars in school meals would be limited to less than 10 percent of the total calories per week for breakfast and lunch.

One Heartland school district expressed their concerns about the changes.

“Well, it’s gonna cost our district a burden because of the budget and also find the foods that are ready to go, because we are a small school and so we only have two staff members in the cafeteria trying to cook, with, they want you to cook more, and we just don’t have the staff or the budget for it,” said Margaret Jones, food service manager at Anna Jr. High School.

The USDA said if changes get the go-ahead, you may see the meal changes as early as 2024.

Beginning in the fall, schools would be required to offer mostly whole grain products with the choice of occasional enriched grain products, so schools are looking for foods that would meet the new criteria.