Wed January 25, 2012

USDA Nutrition Guidelines to Change School Lunch in Colorado

Under new U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, Colorado school lunches will have less sodium, more whole grains and more fruits and vegetables.

The USDA estimates the changes will cost about $3.2 billion to put in place over the next 5 years. But some Colorado school districts, like Boulder Valley, already meet the new guidelines.

“It’s hard and it takes time,” says Ann Cooper, director of food services for the district.

Cooper gained national recognition after orchestrating an overhaul of her school’s lunches in 2009. The district is one of several across the state that are already compliant with the new rules.

But the new rules won't be as aggressive as the Obama administration had hoped. Congress last year blocked the USDA from making some of the changes the department had sought, including limits on french fries and pizza.