This is the first time in 15 years the government has put such a drastic meal change in place in public schools. Lowndes County Schools Director of Nutrition says the requirements are meant to give children healthier options.
"It is to have a healthier lunch, and to help with the obesity epidemic we have in the nation for children and adults," said Joyce Akins, Lowndes County Schools Director of Nutrition.
The changes require elementary and middle school students to have 1/2 cup of fruit and 3/4 of a cup of vegetables daily. High school students need to have one cup of each. One Pine Grove Middle Schooler says she gets frustrated when she doesn't pick the right food portions.
"I don't like it. I have to go back all the time to get the things back. Like they make me go back to get it," said Mya Witcher.
The vegetable requirements are even more complicated.
Five different vegetables have to be served per week, today's vegetable is a red/orange, students can either get sweet potato fries or yellow carrots.
"We have to offer different colors of vegetables, like the red/orange vegetables, the dark green vegetables, and green beans are not a dark bean, and legumes which would be your dried beans and peas," said Akins.
Students can also expect to see fewer grains like pastas and breads. But one 7th grader says she doesn't mind the changes.
"I don't mind eating more fruits and vegetables. I feel like I'm eating healthier," said Breanna Rich.
Akins says she hopes the changes will help set an example for children so they'll eat healthier when they're away from school.
Akins says the school system expected a backlash from students who don't want to eat more vegetables, but so far they haven't heard any complaints.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.
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