School lunch changes bring strong opinions

Healthier options part of federal standards

Is the first lady really responsible for taking French fries and Coke away from school lunch rooms?
Some students we are hearing from say that's the what cafeteria workers are telling them.
Here's a Facebook post from one parent: "My son can not have soda at school because of Michelle Obama. Those were his exact words. This was at Pinellas Park High…"
Changes have been in the works nationwide since new federal standards were adopted and championed by Mrs. Obama.
Those are standards meant to fight child obesity, which affects about 17 percent of children and adolescents.
I talked to officials in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties who say they've been ahead of the curve in altering menus and most students are already used to the healthier options.
"We serve the same stuff. It's just the recipes have changed. The ingredients in the foods have changed," said cafeteria worker Linda Osuba.
"They offer salads and vegetables and lots of fresh fruits and cheeses. I think it's a good thing," said parent Lauren Laliberte.
And as far as French fries, officials say they got rid of fryers sometime ago.
Vending machines do have a different look because of the Smart Snack standards.
Snack foods sold in schools have to be less than 200 calories and contain some nutritional value.
"We are actually providing our own vending machines on our campuses that provide healthier drinks as well as food options," said Pasco Superintendent Kurt Browning.
The topic of school lunches is definitely heating up on social media.
One bay area parent wrote: "It shouldn't be anyone's decisions other than the parents what their children eat or drink."
And Mike Boylan posted: "My kids have grown up eating Happy Meals and they have turned out just fine."


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