ALBANY, N.Y. – A school lunch tasting event took place in Albany
on Tuesday to showcase the changes and new nutrition guidelines in cafeteria
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010 outlining new
regulations to make school lunches healthier. The federal school lunch program
called for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains on students' lunch trays.
However, the changes proved to be a challenge for many schools to
feed students a balanced meal while staying within a budget.
This year's local school lunch tasting is an attempt at redemption
after last year's food was left to rot because kids rejected healthier federal
Some local schools even opted out of the guidelines after losing
money. Schools also argued that they could offer nutritious meals but couldn't
force students to eat or like the food.
Teresa Snyder, the Voorheesville School Superintendent said "We
were down $90,000."
explained how opting out of the lunch made financial sense due to their comparatively
low poverty level and free and reduced lunches.
is a new offering by Pizzeria Uno which has a sweet potato crust.
Elizabeth Myer with American Dairy Association & Dairy Council
said "It has low fat cheese, and a crust made from sweet potatoes."
Vendors are getting creative after kids tossed the healthier options
in the garbage.
The tasting event at the Polish Community Center will feature food
options provided by vendors and food service providers that are lower in
sodium, fat, calories and sugar but foods that student s will still enjoy.
But the stakes are high to keep the food and the costs lean. Local
school professionals tested a range of foods to ultimately decide which ones
will end up in the lunch line.
During the event, nutrition professionals sampled the new products
to decide what will end up in Capital Region cafeterias. The foods will be
scrutinized for their nutritional value as well as meeting monetary guidelines.
you want to get kids to eat healthy, nutritional experts and school officials at
the event said it may come down to marketing. They said kids are more likely to
choose a healthier option of it comes with a well-known brand.
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