First lady Michelle Obama plans to step into the political/policy arena Tuesday, pushing back on a Republican House plan to roll back new standards for healthy school lunches.
Obama, who has championed new nutrition standards for school lunches, is expected to voice her views during a meeting with school teachers and nutrition experts.
The first lady "will stress the importance of students, parents, school officials, community leaders, and health advocates coming together to protect and advance the tremendous progress that has been made in schools across our country," says the White House schedule.
Obama and Sam Kass, executive director of the first lady's Let's Move! program, held a conference call last week with advocates that included discussion of the House of Representatives' school lunch plan.
Kass told the Associated Press that the GOP bill is "a real assault" on administration efforts to make foods healthier for children.
Even if the Republican-run House votes to change the standards for school lunches, those changes would likely be opposed in the Democratic-run Senate.
From the Associated Press:
"An Agriculture spending bill approved by a House subcommittee last week would allow schools to waive the standards if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six-month period. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., who wrote the bill, said he was responding to requests from school food directors. ...
"The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.
"While many schools have had success putting the rules in place, others have said they are too restrictive and costly. Schools pushing for changes say limits on sodium and requirements for more whole grains are particularly challenging, while some school officials say kids are throwing away fruits and vegetables that are required."