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Agriculture Department proposes new rules for school food

The Agriculture Department is proposing new nutritional rules that would apply to most all foods sold in schools. The rule would apply to “a la carte” lines in school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars and any other food sold regularly on campus. It wouldn’t apply to fundraisers, after-school concessions stands, class parties or foods brought from home.

Most every food sold in school would be subject to fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits. Snack foods would have to be under 200 calories and have some nutritional value. Drinks would be limited to 12-ounce portions in middle schools and 8-ounce portions in elementary schools.

Some examples of what could be in and out under the rules, provided the items meet or don’t meet all of the requirements:

What’s in: baked potato chips, granola bars, cereal bars, trail mix, dried fruits, fruit cups, yogurt, whole grain-rich muffins, 100 percent juice drinks, diet soda (high schools), flavored water (high schools), lower-calorie sports drinks (high schools), unsweetened or diet iced teas (high schools), 100 percent juice popsicles, baked lower-fat french fries, healthier pizzas with whole grain crust, lean hamburgers with whole wheat buns.

WHAT’S OUT: candy, snack cakes, most cookies, pretzels, high-calorie sodas, many high-calorie sports drinks, juice drinks that are not 100 percent juice, most ice cream and ice cream treats, greasy pizza and other fried, high-fat foods in the lunchroom.

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