The U.S. Agriculture Department released a new school lunch rule Wednesday that would let cafeterias skip the whole grains and serve salty food, as well as sweetened milk. Health experts gave the new rule an “F” and said a return to unhealthy standards is not the way to get kids to eat better. The USDA included similar rules in May as part of temporary budget legislation. Wednesday’s announcement would solidify the rules. “Schools need flexibility in menu planning so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “This new rule deserves an ‘F.’ It fails the test when it comes to helping our kids eat healthier at school.” “The interim final rule published today gives schools the option to serve low-fat (1 percent) flavored milk. Currently, schools are permitted to serve low-fat and non-fat unflavored milk as well as non-fat flavored milk,” the USDA added. “States will also be allowed to grant exemptions to schools experiencing hardship in obtaining whole grain-rich products acceptable to students during School Year (SY) 2018-2019.” The new rule also gives schools a break until 2021 to provide “more time to procure and introduce lower sodium food products, allow food industry more time for product development and reformulation, and give students more time to adjust to school meals with lower sodium content.” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue goes though the lunch line to have lunch with students at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia on May 1, 2017. Carolyn Kaster / AP file Perdue said kids are just throwing food away, but American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said that’s untrue and said schools are not struggling to meet the Obama-era standards aimed at getting kids to eat more nutritious meals. “In the last five years, nearly 100 percent of the nation’s participating schools have complied with updated school meal standards. Kids across the country have clearly benefited from these changes,” Brown said in a statement. “Their meals have less salt, sugar and saturated fat, and they eat 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit. Why would the USDA want to roll back