USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced in February 2022 that low-fat flavored milk can be offered in all schools during school years 2022-23 and 2023-24. The provisions apply to the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Special Milk Program. For consistency, the low-fat flavored milk option will be extended to competitive beverages for sale on the school campus during the school day.
Because surveys have shown students prefer low-fat flavored milk to fat-free flavored milk, this regulation is expected to increase school milk consumption and could increase participation rates in the school meal programs. Both of those impacts would be positive for students’ nutritional intakes and would also expand the demand for milk.
FNS is working on a new proposed rule that will enact “long-term nutrition standards – based on the newest [Dietary Guidelines for Americans] and extensive input from a wide range of partners …” FNS expects to publish the proposed rule in the fall of 2022.