Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- As children head back to school, new federal guidelines are changing a big part of your child's day. The changes to school lunches come down to healthier choices, fresher foods, and locally-grown options.
Julia Bauscher with JCPS Nutrition Services details some of the options: "Fresh watermelon, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, all grown on local farms here in Kentucky."
It sounds like menu options at your local farmers' market, but the plates of fresh foods are now part of lunch time at Jefferson County Public Schools. Bauscher says, "JCPS has been gradually implementing some of these changes for several years."
She is the vice president of the School Nutrition Association. She says the new federal guidelines will encourage school age children to eat more fruits and vegetables: "The My Plate recommendations say half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, so by requiring them to take a fruit or vegetable, we're hopefully helping them adopt healthier lifestyles."
She says zucchini, squash, and green peppers will be cooked into some foods this year and will provide servings of vegetables that students wouldn't normally get. There will also be opportunities for students to sample certain foods.
She says, "Prior to the spinach salads being on the menu, we'll offer a small sample so that they can try it and then the next day when it's on the serving line they'll have the opportunity to choose that."
School officials say helping children change their eating habits goes beyond the cafeteria and starts at home. Bauscher explains, "We want them to have that conversation with their kids about healthy choices and then we want to offer their students a wide variety of options so that they can improve their healthy eating lifestyles."
The changes are gradual. Next year, kids will see their school breakfasts change to include healthy choices.