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Kirkland Schools Say Fruits, Vegetables Must be on Students' Plates

What do you think of the new rules?

The  (LWSD) is adopting new nutrition rules for students this school year following changes made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

A news release posted on the LWSD website highlights what the new guidelines will mean for students in the district:

Every student will be required to take a full portion of at least three of those five components and at least one of them has to be fruit or vegetables. They must take at least half a cup of the fruit and/or vegetables, though larger portions will be available.

For example, a student who selects a meat item, a grain item and a milk item will have to add or substitute a fruit or vegetable. They could, however, choose just the fruit, vegetable and milk items and still meet the new requirements.

They can take four or all five components as well as just three: food services staff will encourage them to take all five. You may want to have a conversation with your student about why a variety of foods is a healthy choice.

Other changes include more regular offerings of vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Starting this year, 50 percent of all grains served during lunch must be whole grains. By 2014, that figure must increase to 100 percent for both breakfast and lunch.

What do you think of the new rules? Is it a good idea to require kids to eat their fruits and veggies--or at least put them on their plates? How are you going to talk to your kids about the change?

Margaret Santjer August 31, 2012 at 03:02 PM
There are some good comments over on our Facebook page, ranging from, "Makes you wonder what they were thinking for last few years," to, "As long as the kirkland schools are paying for it, I guess they can hope the kids will eat some of it. NOBODY can force anyone else to do anything, so everyone should stop trying to live everyone else's life for them." I think it's great to try to model healthy habits for kids and put good stuff in front of them -- hopefully they're getting this at home, too. But I also remember that when I was in grade school (not saying how long ago), teachers would stand by the garbage cans outside the cafeteria to try to guilt kids into not throwing away their food. So everyone started stuffing uneaten food into their empty milk cartons and closing them up. Voila -- clean plate!
Jeanne Gustafson August 31, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I remember if we played with our food on our tray, like mixing things together to gross each other out, our "lunch lady" would stand over us and make us eat it (I think I did that exactly once)! But on a serious note, my son never once visited his school's optional salad bar last year, even though it contained plenty of things I know he likes, and also the desserts. However, if there are vegetables on his plate, they are usually the first thing he eats.
ButteryMuffyn September 04, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I have been in and out of the school lunch rooms for a looooong time, and to be honest, I wouldn't eat what was there! My kids love their fruits and veggies at home but they say by the time the salad bar has been coughed and sneezed over, and everything mixed up, they would rather be hungry. From the dried up pizzas to the over-cooked pastas, nothing is terribly appetizing. That's why they take their lunches from home instead.
Tehmina Ali September 06, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I love it! Schools are helping my kids stay healthy.

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