Senate bill aims to make school lunches tastier

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WASHINGTON — Schools would have more flexibility to serve refined grains and salty foods to the nation's school children under legislation a Senate panel is considering.

The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bipartisan bill designed to help schools that have complained 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 Monday 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.

The compromise signals a truce between first lady Michelle Obama and congressional Republicans who have been at odds over the rules for more than two years.