Pasta is now classified as a vegetable in U.S. schools. An overhaul of dietary regulations means pasta now counts towards the vegetable requirements in school lunches in the USA. New school guidelines, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week, stipulate that: "Pasta made of vegetable flour may credit as a vegetable, even if the pasta is not served with another recognizable vegetable." Pasta can only be a vegetable serving if it is made with potato, soy or starchy vegetable-based flour. Critics of the rules joked that bread could be a vegetable as that is made from flour.
Other guidelines include halving the fruit children have for breakfast. There will also be more burgers, fries, pizza and other high-calorie food that is full of fat and salt. The department defended the guidelines, saying they would reduce food waste. It said, "a more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students with nutritious and appetizing meals". The guidelines reverse the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. A health expert said: "This makes absolutely no sense. Politics and industry pressure should not interfere with what is best for children's health."