Schools debut healthier lunch menu, portion sizes - KMSP-TV

Schools debut healthier lunch menu, portion sizes

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Many kids will head back to school in the next few weeks, but things will be a bit different when they get into the lunch line. Changes to federal guidelines means the menu will feature smaller portions of meat and more fresh fruit and vegetables.

One of the biggest challenges with kids is getting them to eat what's good for them, but Audrey Rowe, the head of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Program, explained that the new lunch foods keep that in mind while working to teach kids about nutrition.

"The increase in whole grains, increase in fruits, increase in vegetables will be what the kids will see," she said. "But when they go shopping, they're asking (parents) about it. So, it's changing a lifestyle."

Rowe is currently on a nationwide tour of school cafeterias while districts dish up different meals to see what will work best. She stopped at Burnsville Elementary, which has a summer program, on Tuesday to promote the rules that took effect July 1.

There are strict limits on calories and sodium, limits on portions of meat, and whole milk is now a thing of the past.

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