What Kinds of Foods Are Banned From High School Lunch Menus?


Quick Answer

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has banned foods labeled "junk food" from public high school lunch menus and school vending machines as of July of 2014, according to the Washington Times. "Junk food" includes items that are over 35-percent sugar or fat, food items high in saturated fat and foods that contain trans fats. Snack food items are limited to 200 calories per purchase, and entree food selections are limited to 350 calories per entree.

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Full Answer

The foods that are available in school cafeterias are limited by regulations inspired by Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, which aims to increase nutritional standards and reduce the availability of unhealthy food options in public schools. These regulations were meant to take effect in July 2014. With these new regulations, schools are only allowed to sell water, low-fat milk and 100-percent fruit juices both in the school cafeteria and in campus vending machines. For high schools, beverages cannot exceed 12 ounces, and for elementary students, the limit is 8 ounces, states the Washington Times.

The new USDA standards aim to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, increase the availability of whole-grain foods, limit fat, trans fat and sodium consumption, and supply students with the proper portion sizes for their age groups, states the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

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