Tags: Noem | school | lunch | Michelle

Noem Takes on First Lady Over School Lunches

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 01:48 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Republican Rep. Kristi Noem is taking on first lady Michelle Obama over school-lunch standards.

The requirements of Obama's healthy-eating initiative are leaving kids hungry, Noem said Tuesday.

Now the South Dakotan has introduced a bill to ease standards to allow children to fill up.

"The limitations capped their calories, capped their proteins, their grains — made it very difficult for kids to get full," Noem told "Fox & Friends."

"They're leaving school hungry."

Story continues below video.



In 2012, the Department of Agriculture mandated new regulations for free and low-cost meals served as a part of the federally subsidized school lunch program. The menu emphasizes lower calories and salt, and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, The Washington Times reported.

Michelle Obama promoted the program in an attempt to combat childhood obesity. Noem said complaints from students, parents, nutritionists, and administrators caused her to introduce a bill to offer more flexibility in the standards.

"People recognize that this just doesn't work. We want our kids to be healthy. We just want them to be full as well," she said.

Noem maintained the restrictions were affecting children whose only meal during the day is the one served at school.

"When you look at the fact that we're only allowing kids to have two ounces of meat at a meal, that's just not enough. Two ounces of grains is not enough," Noem said.

The standards also create a one-size-fits-all approach to student nutrition, and she explained not "every child in this country is the same."

"The kids in South Dakota are different than the kids in New York City. And the athletes require a little bit different (menu) than younger kids do," she said.

"I think it's just crazy that we allow Washington, D.C., to make these decisions, and don't allow the people that are standing there with those kids every day," she added.

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