“I really like French fries, but I’d have to go with apples”

By Samantha Jordan – bio| email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

LINDALE, TX (KLTV) –The days of guessing what's in the mystery meat in the school cafeteria are over.

For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will raise nutritional standards for school lunches.

At Lindale High School, adjustments to their school lunch menu started way before the USDA unveiled a new set of regulations for school meals Thursday morning.

And while Lindale has made great strides to change their student's eating habits, they say it wasn't easy.

"Initially, the kids were a little unhappy about it, but they have adjusted. And I would think most of them are pretty well accustomed to it now" said Laurie Krueger, LISD Child Nutrition Program Director.

"One of our hardest things was when they changed the french fries rule to only a three ounce serving. I came over to the school that day and looked and we had previously been serving a nine ounce french fires portion," says Krueger.

It seems like the portion controls are working.

When a student was asked who would win in a battle of French fries versus apples, the student replied "I really like French fries, but I'd have to go with apples because they're actually better for you."

The new meal standards are set out to help improve the health of nearly 32 million children who eat school lunches every day.

Among the changes are decreases in the amount of starchy vegetables and sodium, establishing calorie minimums and maximums in meals for the first time, serving only 1% or fat free milk, increase fruits and veggies offered to kids, increase the intake of whole grains, and minimize trans fat.

The USDA regulations are not final, yet; it will likely be later this year.

When the regulations are enacted, schools will need to comply if they want reimbursement for school meals.

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