Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said the temporary waivers are needed because some school districts are losing too much money and need more time to adjust to the requirements. He said a big problem is that students are refusing to eat the healthier foods.

“I am talking to the lunch ladies who do all this work and it is thrown in the garbage at the end of the day,” he said.

Backers of the nutrition standards say more than 90 percent of school districts are complying successfully and that Republicans want to relax the rules as a carve-out to interest groups in the food industry.

“The evidence says this is doable,” said child nutrition expert Jessica Donze Black of the Pew Charitable Trusts.