Healthier Requirements for School Lunches - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Healthier Requirements for School Lunches

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(KCEN) – More changes will be made to school lunch menus for next Fall, but these healthier requirements are causing some concern among school districts.

For several years districts have been improving the lunch menus, following new requirements to offer healthier choices like more fruits and vegetables. Now food departments will have to cut back even more on the sodium, add even more fruits and veggies, and all grains served must be at least half whole grain.

“I love seeing them have more choices, and a little bit larger servings than they were getting before, but it is very hard for me to see when they throw food away,” Belton ISD Food Nutrition Director Susan D’Amico said.

As a registered dietician, D’Amico is thrilled student lunches are becoming healthier, but she also says it’s been a challenge. The healthier food is more expensive, and those expensive healthier choices aren’t always popular with the students.

“Fresh fruits and vegetables can be quite an expensive item to be going into the trash. It’s been challenging and I’ve had to watch our finances very closely,” she said. “We’re doing fine here at Belton ISD, but I know some directors who want to get completely out of the government program so they can sell whatever foods they want.”

Some school districts are asking congress and the Department of Agriculture to scale back on many of the requirements. As for Belton ISD, D’Amico says they’re coping with the challenges and will continue to offer the healthiest meals possible for their students.

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