by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New rules stemming from the school lunch law championed by first lady Michelle Obama are banning popular children’s cereals like Frosted Flakes in daycare centers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service issued a final rule Monday that will affect more than 3 million kids in daycare centers across the country. The regulation will only allow daycare centers to serve juice once a day, will ban fried foods, and encourages centers to not add honey to a child’s yogurt.
The regulation is a result of the 2010 law aimed at school lunches, a top priority of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative. The government hopes the new rule will “help children build healthy habits.” …
… The final rule will apply to participating organizations in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, which reimburses centers for meals and snacks. Over 3.3 million children and 120,000 adults participate in the program every day.
The new regulation represents the first major change to the program since 1968 and will go into effect in 60 days.
Childcare and adult day care centers will only be allowed to serve juice once per day, and the new rule places strict limits on the amount of sugar in cereals served.
Breakfast cereals can “contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce,” according to the regulation. The sugar limit means no Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Cap’n Crunch, or Frosted Flakes.
Cereals that will meet the new sugar restrictions include Cheerios, Puffed Rice, Fiber One, and All-Bran.
The final regulation does allow meat and “meat alternates,” such as tofu, if they are served “in place of the entire grains requirement at breakfast a maximum of three times per week.”