School Lunches Contain More Fruit and Vegetables
(Le Mars) -- In an effort to fight child obesity, the U-S Department of Agriculture has stipulated more fruits and vegetables need to be included as part of a student's school lunch plan. Judy Lubben, the Food Service Director for the Le Mars Community School District says the new rules have made a difference in how she prepares meals.
Lubben says the calorie target for Kindergarten through 5th grade is between 550 to 650 calories, 6th through 8th grades is 600 to 700 calories, and the high school is 750 to 850 calories. She says students are offered more fruits and vegetables than in past years.
Is the food that is offered enough to satisfy a growing student's appetite? Lubben believes it is enough food, if the student chooses to consume all the food that is offered.
The Le Mars Community School District serves approximately 1400 meals each day. Lubben says since the students are given a choice, there isn't as much food that is wasted.
The food service director offers a fruit bar every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Lubben says she sees different schools have different tastes for favorite fruits. She says the price for lunch meals has increased due to the requirement for fresh fruits and vegetables. Each lunch meal costs $1.80
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is calling on the federal government to
revise new standards for school meals.
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring introduced the policy statement that was approved by the group during its annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, this week. It says the new
standards are well-intentioned but won't solve the problem of childhood obesity.
The standards approved by the federal Agriculture Department earlier this year set limits on calories and require schools to offer at least one vegetable or fruit per meal. Critics say the
lunches are too light for some active teens and leave them hungry.
Goehring says children from low-income families might be affected most by the new standards because school lunches might be the most nutritious meals they get.
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