The law of lunch

Timothy Sutton, Staff Reporter

The 2012-2013 school year is a breakthrough year for healthy lunches thanks to a new federal law that helps kids to eat healthier and learn the benefits of it, while sacrificing unhealthier food in the school cafeteria.

At the beginning of 2012, Michelle Obama proposed a new plan, The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFK Act), which would force schools to serve healthier foods such as fruit instead of automatically giving chips and juice for lunch.

These improvements will be made over the next 10 years.
Foods that were impacted the most were those high in starches, such as the beloved frachos, or those foods high in sugar like the boxed juices.

Even though these selections were taken off the menu, such foods like pizza and French fries were kept on the menu because they are considered vegetables.

In addition to foods eliminated, the cafeteria also added a lot to the menu. More red/orange and starchy vegetables have been added as well as whole grain breads to pizza and sandwiches.

The elementary schools received more fruit options than high school students because of the variety of foods offered in high schools.

Many of the school’s staff and the district believe that this will be a good step in the right direction for healthier lunches.

Ferguson-Florissant  food service director Scott Williams believes that this is the optimum time to teach kids the benefits of healthy eating.

“It is important that schools do their part to help educate students about healthy living both in and out of the cafeteria,” Williams said.

Assistant principal Mr. Frazier agrees with Williams. “I was on the food service committee and it’s put in place because kids eat unhealthy,” Frazier said. The food may be better for the students, but it does come at a cost. The lunch employees have to work extra hard to prepare lunch and it costs more to the school.

“It’s better for the kids even though it cost more to the school and is more strenuous on us,” said cafeteria manager Barb Stenberg.

It may take some time for students and staff to adjust to the new policy.

“The changes in regulations will increase the costs associated with running a school food service program and initially student participation could suffer until students develop a taste for the new school meals,” said Mr. Williams.

One problem that can be observed in lunch is the wastefulness of the students.

“If you don’t want it, place it on the table so kids who do can get it,” said Mr. Frazier.

The new lunches provide students with the opportunity to get educated on healthy living and to live healthier lives.