(WICHITA, Kan.) — In the old days it was cheeseburgers, fries, and splat of applesauce. But in the not so distant future the nations school lunches could have a much different look.
In January, the USDA proposed new federal nutrition guidelines for schools. These are the first proposed changes in 15 years, officals said. A 90-day public comment period ended earlier this month."Anytime the regulations suggest more fruits and vegetables that's a plus for our children," said Vicki Hoffman, Director of Nutritional Services for Wichita Schools.
Hoffman's job is to make sure school children get a good nutritious lunch for about $3 a day. New proposed stardards won't have a dramatic impact on the district, but could present some challenges, she said.
Among the USDA recommendations:
- Decreasing the amount of starchy vegetables, such as corn, potatoes, and peas, to one cup a week.
- Drastic reductions in sodium, which call for secondary schools to scale back salt intake by more than half over ten years.
- Calorie and fat content limits.
- Serve only 1% or fat free flavored milk
The proposed changes call for a weekly serving of a leafy green, a weekly serving of legumes (beans) and a weekly serving of orange vegetables, such as carrots or squash, Hoffman said.