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In switch, California school nutrition group opposes healthy lunch rules

LA School Report | October 9, 2015

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Edsource logoBy Jane Meredith Adams

A half a cup of a fruit or vegetable is required in every school lunch served in America, under federal regulations now up for review in Congress, and as far as the California School Nutrition Association is concerned, that requirement needs to go.

In a turn of events that belies California’s position as a national leader in mandating healthier school lunches – as well as the state’s role in growing nearly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables – the California School Nutrition Association is pressing Congress to weaken the requirement that school lunches include fruits and vegetables, reduced amounts of sodium and more whole grains.

The association is lobbying to make a half cup serving of a fruit or vegetable optional, rather than required. It is also lobbying to stop any further reduction in sodium levels and to halt the increase in “whole grain rich” products, which would require that all breads, tortillas and rice be made with 50 percent whole grain. “We’re looking for flexibility,” said Dena England, president of the California School Nutrition Association, a nonprofit association of 2,000 members from school food service departments and additional food industry members.

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