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Senate panel approves bill to make school lunches tastier

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2014 file photo from Jones College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — School meals could become a bit tastier under legislation approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill Wednesday designed to help schools that say the Obama administration’s healthier school meal rules are too restrictive.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan introduced the bill after reaching an agreement to ease requirements for whole grains and delay an upcoming deadline to cut sodium levels. Stabenow is the panel’s top Democrat.

School lunch directors that have lobbied against the standards endorsed the agreement, saying it would help them plan meals that are more appealing to students. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has also backed the compromise, saying it maintains most of the healthier school meal rules.

The bill was approved by voice vote.

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