Tastes change

Student lunch participation has fluctuated as schools change their menus to abide by new national requirements.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 25, 2014


This coming fall, school menus are set to follow the “Smart Snacks in School” standards, as set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new regulations include: foods must be a whole-grain product; and the first ingredient must be a fruit, vegetable or a protein food. Snacks and entrée items must also follow limits for calories, sodium, fat and sugar.

In two weeks, Peg Panici, director of food services for Spring Lake Public Schools, will work with two classes to taste-test several foods that might be offered next year based on the new standards.

“It’s a taste change,” she said about the new foods.

The USDA says the “Smart Snacks in School” standards reflect that a third of American children are at-risk for preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease because of their weight.

Sarah Stone, Chartwells Food Service director for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said they’ve also started planning ahead and looking at what foods can be served to meet the changes.

As food service employees prepare for lunch each day, they forecast how much food to prepare based on its popularity the last time it was served.

Panici said they have a six-week menu that rotates, but they also have additional meals to break up the monotony. They also gauge which items students choose during the first lunch of the day so that they can adjust the amount of food for the next wave of students.

On average, Grand Haven schools serves more than 2,500 lunches a day, although it depends on the month and what’s on the menu.

Stone said that number is up over the past five years. She said the increase might be a result of marketing healthier eating in a way that makes students want to eat the meals, and parents wanting their children to eat healthier.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



send in the Diva's !


You have got to be kidding - the kids' tastes haven't changed; what's changed is what we are forcing them to eat to meet Michelle Obama and the federal government's idea of what they should be eating. Of course, Michelle's degrees in nutrition probably make this a worthy endeavor, and the feds have never been proven wrong about the menu decisions they have made for us (avoid eggs, meat, butter, and fat and switch to margarine, and artery clogging trans-fats.)

Kids have been revolting against Michelle-the-Slim's school diets since they were introduced. http://www.americanthinker.com/b...


Conservatives love to talk about personal responsibility for ills like obesity. Why should school lunches not be a place that provide responsible choices? Why are you arguing that government money should be used to provide unhealthy lunches?


1. What choices are you speaking of when the government dictates that school lunches will be limited to X and Y - the same choices we have under Obamacare when the government dictates policies shall cover x and y, like abortions for men and birth control for octogenarians?

2. If you noticed, government money was used to advocate dietary choices that were absolutely unhealthy, like more starches and trans-fats. Or are you a trans-fat unhealthy denier?


"Choices," in the sense that I meant it, means selections.

I'm not denying the unhealthy nature of trans fats, and I'm not saying that school lunches today are perfect, either. Neither is the USDA, which order reductions in trans fats, sat fats, and sodium. Another source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/25/he...

Tasty lunches are important, or kids won't eat them, but I don't see a problem with the government demanding that school lunches be healthier than they have been in the past. It's the government's money, and it oughtn't be spent on largely unhealthy choices that will contribute to public health problems in the future.

You complained about "the federal government's idea of what they should be eating." Again, if the government pays, why should the government not have a say in what gets served?


"It's the government's money." "If the government pays,..." We do not have a chance with people who think like this. God help us.


We are living in dangerous times in this country. Much blood and treasure has been spent over the course of our history and those that gave it would be very dismayed by how uninformed much of our citizenry has become!

The government does not exist without us! WE empower what the government does thru the constitution, our votes, and our taxes. "Government of the people, by the people...."

Keep the faith owell, we have in times of challenge overcome much in this country.


And just where does the government get it's money from? Me. That's right. So why should I "not have a say in what gets served"? Food in the trash can does no one any good.


I think he's saying that schools should have menus, so kids can choose what they want to eat. Bring on the sodas!


My kid has come home from school hungry for the past 2 years. Says the food is not edible and that most of it ends up in the garbage can. MOB's war on school lunch is a complete disaster.


i have a good idea, fix them a bag lunch to his liking !!!


If parents accepted the responsibility of raising their children this would be mute. Why does society have to pay for someone else's child's meal? Parents or should I say fetus creators want society to pay for their decision to procreate, why? Because its expensive? Yea so you didn't think about that before you had your fun? If anyone decides to play God and make life then they and they alone should feed, clothe, and raise it. Looking toward the government to feed your outcome of your base human desire to create is wrong. Buck up parents and raise and feed your kids, it's called a brown bag lunch.


And if parents are in financial straits, what should happen? If a parent (or both parents) suffers a job loss, then what? Middle-class jobs that support children properly don't exactly grow on trees. Bad things can happen to good people, you know.

People should take responsibility for their actions, but we should all care about the welfare of children. Kids should not suffer for the mistakes of their parents, period. A society that would let kids go hungry or malnourished in order to punish the parents is a deeply immoral one.

By the way, you wanted to say "moot," not "mute."


No child should go hungry, if you never been on the opposite side of the street, you don't know how it is to go hungry


Have you ever looked at the school menu? Chicken, chicken, and more chicken - chicken nuggets, chicken corn dogs, etc. Sometimes they have cheese sticks and dipping sauce. No variety, and not so healthy. Sometimes little kids can get an "alternative" meal of cereal or a salad. Really? Cereal for lunch?? I want no kid to go hungry, and free lunches should be available for those that need them. I realize budgets are also an issue, but think a better nutritionist is needed to develop some lunches with more variety, more protein, and just plain old appeal for little kids!


What do you mean, Kids now days want pizza, Burger King, McDonald, Subway, because that's how we eat as a family at home, no one has time to cook no more, so we order or go out, half of the kids in school would go hungry if we went back to the basic food menu, anyone here from the 60, and 70,s ? if you don't like hot lunch menu,s, fix your kid,s a bag lunch, oh no, we don't have time, to busy, throw them a $10.00 bill and make them responsible for what they eat, my kids often traded food items in the lunch room.


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