Under the adjustment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would suspend daily and weekly maximum amounts for grains and meat or meat alternatives. That means school districts this year can serve larger portions of those items without penalty.
USDA officials said late Friday they were loosening the regulations after some schools found it difficult to buy alternative portion sizes of such foods from suppliers. Some also said they had inventory to use up that does not meet the new guidelines.
"We understand that this is a year of transition," Cynthia Long, head of USDA's Child Nutrition Division, wrote in a memo on Friday to state and regional school food officials.