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New Federal Regulations Call For Healthier School Lunches

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New federal regulations require healthier lunches in schools next year.

USDA undersecretary Audrey Rowe lunched on chicken salad yesterday with kids at the Roberto Clemente Middle School. Rowe was in town to highlight new school lunch nutrition standards that take effect in the fall.

“That’s not to say we won’t still see pizza. But you’ll see a whole-grain crust. You’ll see low-fat cheese. You’ll see low-sodium tomato sauce. You’ll see a salad alongside of that pizza.”

Three-quarters of Philadelphia schools serve prepackaged lunches because they don’t have full-service kitchens. District food service director Wayne Grasela says vendors will have to provide healthier options.

“We will be expanding on the amount of fruits and vegetables offered to the children. Obviously, even though the products are going to be prepackaged, they’re going to be healthier.”

With the new requirements, comes a modest 6-cent-per meal increase in federal reimbursements.

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