Published: Jan 13, 2011 9:41 PM EST
Updated: Jan 13, 2011 6:41 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Less sodium, more whole grains, and low-fat milk.

Those are some of the ingredients of the first major nutritional overhaul of the meals at school cafeterias in 15 years.

The proposal today from the Agriculture Department applies to lunches subsidized by the federal government.

Schools would have to cut sodium in those meals by more than half. They'd have to use more whole grains, and serve low-fat milk.

 And kids would be limited to just one cup of starchy vegetables a week. That means schools couldn't offer french fries every day.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says more than 32 million children could be affected. He says kids can consume as many as half of their daily calories in school.

The new guidelines are based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)