School lunch guidelines packing some debate - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

School lunch guidelines packing some debate

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If you have kids in public schools, you've probably heard about the new lunches. Federal guidelines are requiring schools to change their menus in order to provide healthier alternatives.

Restrictions come from the USDA and are funded by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This year, lunchrooms across the country have made the chance, including those right here at home.

Most students, if you ask them, would say lunch and recess are their favorite part of the school day. This year, there's a little more heat surrounding what's on the lunch tray.

"They're not very big and there's more fruit than anything and not many kids eat fruit," Central Lyon Senior Trenton Enger said.

"The boys are thinking the portions are a lot smaller and having to go back for seconds. Not being full when they come home," Mom Mandy Robertson said.

Mandy Robertson said it's not just the amount of food that's served her kids don't like, but how much you have to pay for more.

"If they want seconds, they have to charge $3 for that second meal which is higher than the initial charge. Having four kids that can add up everyday," Robertson said.

She says there's good and bad to both. New federal guidelines require more whole grains, fruits and vegetables every day. It also requires low, or non-fat milk and less salts and sugar.

On the flip side, it's introducing more of the good stuff to kids who need it.

"One little boy said we had broccoli in school today and I've never served it before. I kinda like it, mom never served it at home. She will serve it now," Lunch Supervisor Joella Postma said.

"Tomorrow we're having cherries and green peppers. I had one kid say I'm not having that, the other said he loved them. You can't please 'em all but I'm trying and that's the main thing. We're trying to please them and introduce them to new things," Postma said.

One of the debates surrounding school lunches are among parents with athletes.

Parents say their kids aren't getting what they need at lunch time and then unless they have a snack or another meal after school, they're not eating until late at night which affects their energy level, learning and performance.

If the students aren't getting enough, the district encourages parents to send something else with their kids especially if they have after-school activities.

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