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Roe: New school meal standards keep kids hungry

Hank Hayes • Sep 24, 2012 at 4:03 AM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe has a bad taste in his mouth regarding new federal standards for school meals.

“It’s just more overreach of government,” Roe, R-Tenn., said of the standards in a recent conference call with reporters.

The standards were announced last January by first lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who both said the revamped school meals will be healthier for 32 million kids across the nation.

“As parents, we try to prepare decent meals, limit how much junk food our kids eat, and ensure they have a reasonably balanced diet,” Obama said in a prepared release. “And when we’re putting in all that effort, the last thing we want is for our hard work to be undone each day in the school cafeteria. When we send our kids to school, we expect that they won’t be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we try to keep them from eating at home. We want the food they get at school to be the same kind of food we would serve at our own kitchen tables.”

The standards called for making sure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week; substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods; offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties; limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

Read the expanded version of this report in the enhanced electronic or print editions of the Times-News.

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