Regulatory changes proposed by the US Department of Agriculture in 1994 promised to bring progressive changes to school meals. However, lobbying by interest groups resulted in substantial changes to the final rule. This analysis retrospectively examines the federal school meals policy-making process during 1992 to 1996. Key questions address why the policy changed and what the role of interest groups was in affecting the shape, pace, and direction of the policy. The study provides suggestions for using the experiences of 1992 to 1996 to guide future advocacy efforts and for adapting the approach for application to other food and nutrition policies.