This month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced several major initiatives to support and enhance the health of children through nutritious school meals. First, he shared updates to the school meal standards to reflect the latest nutrition science, including limiting added sugars in certain high-sugar products and, later, across the weekly menu; allowing flavored milk in certain circumstances and with reasonable limits on added sugars; incrementally reducing weekly sodium limits over a number of school years; and emphasizing products that are primarily whole grain, with the option for occasional non-whole grain products.
Second, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding a $17 million grant to Action for Healthy Kids to identify, celebrate, and showcase schools implementing successful and creative strategies for serving healthy, appealing meals.
Third, to assist in carrying out the improvement work, small and rural schools are eligible for grants of up to $150,000.
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