New federal rules on school lunches

School lunches

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - For some kids, school lunch is the only guaranteed meal they’ll have each day.

Now, the united states department of agriculture is making sure these lunches are not just healthy, but tasty and cost efficient.

Last week the U.S. department of agriculture announced it will ease up on the guidelines.

The USDA is changing rules on things such as whole wheat, requiring that half of the weekly grains in the school lunch and breakfast menu be whole grain-rich.

“A refined grain is not nearly as healthy as the whole grains. and in general all Americans need to eat more whole grains. There’s hardly any group that eats as many whole grains as they’re supposed to” said Registered Nutritionist Rebekah Basham.

These changes also effect the sodium in school lunches. Allowing less strict rules on how low sodium levels must be, giving food items longer shelf lives.

“Sodium is added to foods to preserve them. It gives them a longer shelf life. If you think of all the things a food item has to go through in order to make it to the school, we can’t just do fresh foods all the time, they would spoil” said Rebekah Basham.

The last change we know of effects flavored milks. Allowing schools to use low fat milk, not requiring them to only use fat free.

But out of all the changes, EVSC might leave their milk the way it is.

“We actually have a fat free chocolate milk that’s very popular in our cafeteria. in regards to that we probably won’t be changing because we’ve found something from our vendor that our students find to be very tasty.” said EVSC Chief Communication Officer Jason Woebkenberg.

No matter the changes it all comes down to student choice.

“I think it’s a good thing kids at a young age are being given the opportunity to choose foods, because as an adult they’re going to have to choose foods, but I think our responsibility as educators and parents is to help them make those decisions. yes it’s okay for us to have these sweet things sometimes, but we also have to balance that out with healthy choices,” said Rebekah Basham.

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