03/28/2022 - The Academy thanks members of the School Nutrition Services Dietetic Practice Group for their feedback on the transitional standards for milk, whole grains and sodium; these responses were compiled and shared in comments submitted by the Academy to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's request.
As stated in the letter, overcoming the challenges currently faced in school nutrition due to the pandemic will require continual efforts and investments from the USDA. The Academy is uniquely positioned to help USDA determine how best to deliver the school nutrition programs in an efficient and effective manner while focusing on what is best for the health of our nation's students. Key takeaways that were shared include:
- The Academy supports alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommends that half of one's grains be from whole grains.
- Establishing a sugar standard going forward is critical to have meal patterns that align with the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- The Academy supports the current transitional standards for sodium but urges USDA to continue reduction of sodium consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- It is imperative that strong nutrition standards are coupled with school nutrition operator training and technical assistance, resources including adequate reimbursement rates and modernized equipment, comprehensive nutrition education for students, faculty, and staff as well as adequate time to eat for students.