(ATLANTIC) The changes in school meals as required by the USDA National School Lunch Program have caused quite a bit of chatter amongst parents.
However, DeeAnn Schriener, Food Service Director for the Atlantic Community School District, says a lot of the things that have been changed are things that they have already been doing at the Atlantic Schools. She said the biggest change though, is the fruits and vegetables.
“We’re serving one cup of fruits and vegetables and kids are required to take a half of a cup, so that’s probably the biggest change,” explained Schriener. “The other part is the types of vegetables we serve. We have to serve something from the dark green category, there is a red/orange category, you’ll be seeing a lot more beans, peas, legumes and those types of things on the menu at least once a week. Grains is a big change, we can only have so many grains a week. Desserts are probably the biggest change that the kids are not liking because we used to have desserts at least three times a week and now we can only have two ounces of a grain based dessert a week.”
As far as comments about there not being enough meat on the menu, Schriener said it’s not true. She said the portions have stayed the same and the students are doing really well with the changes.
“Surprisingly, I hear a lot of comments from parents out in the community that aren’t very happy, that they say kids are complaining. But from what we’re seeing on a daily basis, the kids are doing really well,” said Schriener. “I was actually surprised because I anticipated a lot more garbage and waste; the kids are actually eating all of the fruits and vegetables.”
And, Schriener said that students in grades 6 through 12 have the opportunity to purchase additional food if they feel like they are still hungry.