Changes in the lunchroom cause controversy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Changes in the lunchroom cause controversy


School districts across the country are tweaking their menus.

New federal standards this year require schools to serve more nutritious meals. That makes a mandatory serving of fruit or vegetables, and fewer things like salt and sugar. A plan that brings the calorie count way down.

"It's important for schools to set the bar," DC Everest Food Supervisor Christine Welsh said.

But, while the changes might seem like a step in a healthier direction, not all students are on board.

"Being an athlete, being more active you want more food to keep you going," DC Everest senior Kaleb Laurent said. "You need to get that energy in you."

Many parents commented on our Facebook page. Missie said, "my 17 year old son would need at least 3 lunches a day to be satisfied." While others, like Tracy say, "I applaud the schools for finally getting healthier."

"There's the opportunity that if they choose to get the entire meal they can be pretty full," Welsh said.

Welsh also adds that at DC Everest the changes have been well received.

"Our participation is precisely where it was at last spring when we were serving the old meal pattern," Welsh explained.

And some students agree.

"There's a lot of variety so everyday I can choose something different and not have the same old things everyday," Sophomore Reyna Rodriguez said.

While the changes may not come easy, educators say the goal is worth it.

"We need to implement and reinforce healthy options, and set a good example," Welsh said.

But leaders say they do recognize there are certain students who might need more at lunch, or feel like they aren't getting enough.  That's why many schools offer an A La Carte table. There, students are allowed to purchase items like granola bars or other health conscious foods.

The program is the first update to the school food service menu in fifteen years.

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