On July 1, 2012, new federal nutrition standards took effect and meals served through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program must now meet these science-based requirements. The school nutrition programs serve healthy, low-cost or no-cost meals to millions of Texas students in public and non-profit private schools. Schools that meet these new meal requirements are provided federal funding to help provide nutritious meals to students in need.
These new standards are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and follow the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The biggest changes in the first year include offering fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components every day, and increasing whole grains while decreasing calories and sodium.