After criticism, USDA backtracks on lunch room rules - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

After criticism, USDA backtracks on lunch room rules

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SPENCER (WAOW) -

It's lunchtime at Spencer School District.

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented guidelines that limit calories and require students to take one fruit or vegetable per meal.

But, after some lawmakers, and school administrators complained the USDA is now changing its tune.

Last week the Secretary of Agriculture announced its lifted the limitations on meats and grains.

In a statement, the department said the new flexibility will, "allow more time for the development of products that fit within the new standards."

But, school officials don't think it's enough.

"The calories restrictions are still in place, they have not changed those, so in my opinion of the whole thing, it's not changed at all," Food Service Director Frankie Soto said.

Soto manages four school districts across Central Wisconsin. That's four menus that keep changing.

"They should have given us a little bit to get this going in phases and more time to get this in the works and figure it out as times goes on," Soto said.

And students agree.

"There were a lot of angry people in the beginning," Senior Justin Mueller said.  

But both can agree the new guidelines do have some advantages.

"It's good for our kids to eat healthy," Soto said.

"If they're trying to change things that's a good thing," Mueller added.

And both say they'll continue to adapt to the changes.     

The new guidelines go into effect immediately. The USDA says they posted the updated guidelines, click here, http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome and are in the process of notifying schools of the change.

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