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Published: Monday, September 3, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

New nutritional guidelines will take effect this fall

New Agriculture Department guidelines for school lunches will take effect this fall, including the first national calorie and sodium limits for what can be served on lunch lines.
A look at what the new guidelines require, according to the School Nutrition Association:
Grains
Grades K-5: 8 to 9 servings per week
Grades 6-8: 8 to 10 servings per week
Grades 9-12: 10 to 12 servings per week
Students should have at least one serving of grains each day, and one-half of offerings must be rich in whole grain.
Meats/meat alternatives
Grades K-5: 8 to 10 ounces per week
Grades 6-8: 9 to 10 ounces per week
Grades 9-12: 10 to 12 ounces per week
Nuts, tofu, cheese and eggs can be substituted for meat in some cases.
Milk
Grades K-12: 1 cup per day
Fat-free, low-fat and lactose-free milk options are allowable.
Fruits
Grades K-8: 1/2 cup per day
Grades 9-12: 1 cup per day
Only half of the weekly fruit requirement can come from juice.
Vegetables
Grades K-8: 3/4 cup per day
Grades 9-12: 1 cup per day
Weekly requirements for vegetable subgroups, including dark green, red/orange, beans/peas, starchy and others.
Sodium
By July 2014, sodium levels for lunches should not exceed:
Grades K-5: 640 mg
Grades 6-8: 710 mg
Grades 9-12: 740 mg
A timetable sets targets for further reducing sodium levels by 2022.
Fats
No more than 10 percent saturated fats. No trans-fat, except for those naturally occurring in meat and dairy products.
Total calories
Grades K-5: 550 to 650 per day
Grades 6-8: 600 to 700 per day
Grades 9-12: 750 to 850 per day
Calories can be averaged over the week.
Story tags » Education & SchoolsNutrition

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