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Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Tuesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 71 to a low of 46 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 5 and 10 miles per hour from the northnortheast. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 52 to 46 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will remain steady around 6 miles per hour from the northeast. No precipitation is expected.
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 72 to a low of 46 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 5 and 7 miles per hour from the northeast. No precipitation is expected.

New USDA regulations on school snack

foods good news for dairy sector

July 4, 2013 | 0 comments



New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules affecting foods sold in schools will ensure that nutrient-rich dairy products will continue to be offered to the nation's students in a variety of forms and settings, according to the National Milk Producers Federation.

The USDA Thursday, June 27, released its "Smart Snacks in Schools" nutrition standards, affecting the calorie, fat, sodium and sugar content of foods that are offered apart from the school lunch line.

These "competitive" foods may be offered in vending machines or other a la carte settings.

The snack regulations are similar to overall nutritional rules applied last year to school lunches and breakfasts by the adoption of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

"The nutrients in dairy foods are an important answer to the question of how we can improve the diets and health of young people. The rules released today will ensure that milk, cheese and yogurt are offered beyond the school lunch line in places where they can contribute to healthy eating," said Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer of NMPF.

Under the new regulations, competitive foods must meet all the rule's nutrient standards and either have as the first ingredient one of the major food groups, including dairy; or, until June 30, 2016, contain 10 percent of the Daily Value of a nutrient of public health concern (e.g. calcium, potassium, vitamin D or dietary fiber).

Dairy foods are a key source of three of these nutrients of concern: calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

The regulation's nutrient standards affect the following products:

• Low-fat and fat-free unflavored milk, and fat-free flavored milk, can be offered at all grade levels, with eight-ounce portions for elementary schools, and 12 ounces in middle and high school grades;

• Reduced-fat cheeses (including part-skim mozzarella) are exempt from fat standards, but must meet sodium standards of 230mg through June 30, 2016 and then 200 mg after July 1, 2016;

• Yogurt is subject to a sugar limit (35 percent by weight) that should facilitate dairy consumption;

• Entrees, such as pizza, that are offered in the National School Lunch Program are exempt from the standards when offered in the same or smaller portion size and available on the day the entrèe is served and the following day; and

• Caloric soft drinks are not allowed, and sports drinks cannot exceed 40 calories (and are only available in high school);

"The goal of the regulations - the first comprehensive rule to cover school foods beyond federally reimbursed lunches and breakfasts - is to improve the health of the nation's children and increase their consumption of healthy foods," said Mulhern.

He concluded, "As an important source of nine essential nutrients kids need, milk and dairy foods figure prominently in the new standards. We look forward to working with USDA to implement the standards and to continuing to improve the health of our children."

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