New school lunch standards, making kids healthier or hungrier? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New school lunch standards, making kids healthier or hungrier?

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The new school year is bringing more changes to our kids' lunch trays. While nutritionists say the changes are healthier, some students say the new menu makes their stomachs growl before the end of the day.

New national standards for school lunches include things like more whole grains and less sodium; that's something teachers say is a good thing.

However, some high school students say it's just not enough food and it leaves them hungry.

Students say some of the biggest changes to lunchtime aren't on the tray, but in the vending machines.

“[Baked chips] are healthier, but I really don't like them,” One student at Sikeston High School said.

However, some say in with the new, out with the old is a good thing.

“You would have to worry about students eating a lot of junk food, chocolates and stuff like that,” Teacher and Coach Eric Voorhees said.

Voorhees said now he doesn't have to worry because those options aren't available.

“The vending machine was always the one thing that the students had free reign over. They could go at any time and get sodas and things like that, whereas the lunch menu has already begun to change a little bit last year,” Voorhees said.

As far as what's on the menu though, things have gotten even healthier this year.

“Today I had a ham and cheese wrap with an apple,” Junior Alex Comstock said.

Comstock said he likes the healthy food, but sometimes there's a downside.

“I am still hungry,” Comstock said.

That's a message one parent is hearing too.

“He's always calling me saying he's hungry,” Leother Branch said.

Branch said he brings his son lunch as much as possible, especially on game days.

“They need their meats and vegetables and fruits,” Branch said.

Softball player Kylie Noe said she brings her lunch, too.

“On game days I try to eat healthier so I have more energy,” Noe said.

However, these students and teachers agree that the new standards are a change for the better in the long run.

“It's a great way to get kids or students into a habit of eating healthier and into a better lifestyle,” Comstock said.

The changes are in agreement with national standards. They are a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, an initiative started by Michelle Obama.

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