USDA to Limit Added Sugars in Schools

In a pioneering move to promote healthier eating habits among children, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Wednesday a comprehensive update to the nutrition standards for school meals. This revamp introduces strict limits on added sugars and extends greater flexibility in menu planning, with phased updates scheduled between Autumn 2025 and Autumn 2027.

Cindy Long, Administrator of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, outlined the enhancements during the announcement. “The new standards build on the significant progress that school meals have already made and tackle persistent challenges—including the need to cut back on sugar in school breakfasts,” said Long.

The reform is set to kick off with limitations on added sugars found primarily in popular breakfast items like cereals and yoghurts starting in Autumn 2025. Furthermore, by the following autumn, flavoured milk offered during school breakfasts and lunches will also see a new cap on added sugars. Alongside sugar reduction, the updated standards mandate a slight decrease in the sodium content of school meals by Autumn 2027.

Long also emphasised the additional benefits of the revised standards. “These updates facilitate easier access to locally sourced products, benefiting both educational institutions and the local economy,” she concluded.

The initiative marks the first nationwide effort to impose limits on added sugars in school meals, reflecting a significant step forward in the USDA’s commitment to fostering the nutritional wellbeing of students and supporting local agricultural economies.

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International Bakery

Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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