The Trump administration is turning back a U.S. public school program promoted by former first lady Michelle Obama that required healthier lunches for children.
“If kids aren’t eating the food and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition … undermining the intent of the program,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday.
He made his announcement at an elementary school cafeteria in Leesburg, Virginia, near Washington, before a tray of chicken nuggets, fruit and salad.
Perdue said he appreciates what Michelle Obama wanted to do — giving children lunches with more whole grains and less fat and salt. But he said his department wants to adjust the program to make the healthier food more appetizing.
Chocolate milk back on menu
For starters, schools can now serve chocolate or strawberry flavored milk with 1 percent fat instead of nonfat milk.
Under the 2012 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools that wanted federal meal subsidies would have to put limits on salt and fat in lunches and add more fruit, vegetables and whole grains to the menus.
Health experts say U.S. children do not exercise enough and that one in six are overweight.