USDA encourages kids to eat their fruits and vegetables - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

USDA encourages kids to eat their fruits and vegetables

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Grocery shopping can be quite a chore... so many items to choose from.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in town to do a little grocery shopping of his own at a local Hy-Vee.

He's promoting healthy eating which begins with picking the right foods when we shop.

He believes we should work on improving the eating habits of certain members of the family.

That would be the youngest members of the family.

The USDA is promoting healthy eating at school by putting more fruits and vegetables on the menu.

They studied kids to see if they try it, they might like it, but some people believe the new school menus are not meeting our kids needs.

Some parents like the idea of having their kids eat healthier but most probably wouldn't want them to go through school feeling hungry.

Rep. Kristi Noem said "they want their kids to eat fruits and vegetables too. They think it's great the schools are focusing on that, but they want them to be full. They don't want them to go through a day and not be focused because their tummies hurt or have students who are involved in athletics have to run out to a grocery store or convenience store and buy something that's not healthy."@

The USDA encourages kids to eat healthy so they can stay healthy and it wants kids to eat better so they can do better in school.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said "we created new guidelines under the healthy hunger free kids act for school meals, encouraging youngsters to have more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and low-fat dairy, and less sodium, less sugar and less fat in the content of their school meals."

Noem believes the USDA has good intentions but they're going about it the wrong way.

"The problem is we have when they mandate it, it comes down if schools can't comply or their hands are tied for making some of their decisions that meets their kids needs."

Noem admits she herself didn't like salads as a kid but grew to like them as an adult. She agrees it's good to encourage kids to try healthier foods.

"I think it's great that we're introducing these foods in the schools. I just don't want to tie the hands of the people who really want to make sure that our kids are full and that they're able to make it through a day," Noem said.

The USADA believes the results of the study prove if kids are given a choice, they will make the right choice. T

hey found nearly all kids would try fruits and most finished them.

Veggies didn't fare as well, more than 80 percent would try them, but only about 60 percent would clean their plate.

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