A new federal mandate is bringing changes to the way schools serve lunch. Reportedly the first change in 15 years, the mandate changes the amount of fruits and vegetables the school is required to serve, the type of grains it serves and the fat content in the milk it serves.
Brashear Schools Superintendent Shelly Shipman said the school essentially still offers the same thing. â??We still offer fresh fruits, vegetables, a main entre and our 7th through 12th kids can still get a salad. It's just a portion size and we want to make sure were teaching good eating habits to the kids,â?? Shipman said.
The new rules do require that schools double the amount of fruits and vegetables it serves children weekly. All grains must be whole grains and milk must be either 1% percent or fat free.
Kirksvilleâ??s Director of Food Services Sue Barrett said before things were different. â??Before, it was really different. You didn't really have to watch how many things you served, but we analyzed the fat content, and how much calcium and protein, as long as you met those requirements, you were fine,â?? Barrett said.
Many lunch rooms had to change the way it used the salad bar. Several schools said it still has the salad bar, but took away items like cheese, meats and other things that donâ??t follow the new guidelines. In Brashear they took it away completely and students can request a chefâ??s salad. â??We used to offer a salad bar, for all our students, k-12 but with the current regulations we have to make sure that they're getting a precise amount serving size of each component, and sometimes on a salad bar you can't control that as well, so this way we make sure we follow the guidelines,â?? Shipman said.
Some parents are concerned about sack lunches being monitored, but shipman says not to worry. The government is looking at sack lunch requirements but as of yet, there are no new guidelines.
â??We have to let the kids know and give them some healthy choices to choose fromâ?¦and help them make a better choice on what theyâ??re going to eat,â?? Shipman said.
Many have said this is a good change, and if you donâ??t think your child is getting enough food at school because of the new guidelinesâ?¦your child is allowed to bring a sack lunch and eat the school food too.