Dec 11 2012
By Mark Roper
Getting our children to eat their vegetables is no easy task.
It can be just as hard at home as it is at school.
KSFY News us the USDA is calling recess on the rules for schools healthy lunch requirements.
The USDA is relaxing rules and making it easier to load up on meats and grains, as long as schools keep the calorie counts the same.
We spoke with parents and nutritionists who have an interest in what kids eat for lunch.
The health requirements for school lunches may be hard to swallow for some.
Kim Bishop, a parent with young children, said "I know the older kids are complaining about the new healthier options, but I think if you start them at a young age that they'll grow into liking those things.
Bishop said sometimes kids just need a little help from their friends to eat their vegetables.
"When they look at their classmates and they notice that, maybe they're eating cold, green peppers that they may actually try it. the more that they get to see that and the more they get to try it. they may end up liking it," Bishop said.
Sioux Falls School District nutritionist Joni Davis says the district has been following the guidelines for years and will continue to serve healthy meals.
"We're always glad the USDA is listening to us out here in the field and that our state department does also and transfers that information onto the federal level as well as our representatives," Davis said.
Congresswoman Kristi Noem says the USDA relaxing it's rules is a great example of people making their voices heard.
"The part that I'm still struggling with this is only a one year situation and that next year the requirements coming out of the USDA are even more stringent, so we're going to have to make sure we look for these studies and look at the results and make sure they actually work for our kids," Noem said.
Bishop said what might work best for older kids is to start when they're young.
"When I ask them and they say 'I don't like it,' I'll say well, have you tried it? Just try a bite. I think the more they're exposed to it, the more they're going to end up saying 'you know, this isn't so bad, I actually kind of like it.'"
We also spoke with Chris Beach, the nutritionist for the Harrisburg School District.
He told me he is concerned if they add certain items back on the menu, students will be upset when the school takes them away again.
He says the high school students have been buying fewer lunches since the new rules went into effect.
To read more: http://www.ksfy.com/story/20320341/usda-relaxes-guidelines-on-school-lunches