(Wichita, KS)—School lunches are getting healthier in Wichita. Starting this year, students will get more fruits and vegetable options, plus larger servings of both.
More than 20,000 meals are prepared everyday at the Wichita School Service Center, and it's Vicki Hoffman's job to make sure each one meets the new federal nutritional guidelines.
Also new this year, larger serving sizes. Elementary and middle school students must get a 1/2 cup of fruits and a 3/4ths serving of vegetables.
High schoolers will get even more, with a cup serving size for each
Students will see more whole grain options as well. But they won't get to buy as many cookies or chips, and all trans fats are off the menu.
"We know that these changes are the ones that will result in better health for kids," Hoffman said. "They come out of recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and they have been in the works for the last several years."
Hoffman knows the big challenge is getting kids to eat the new, healthier options. She hopes that education will continue at home
"Parents need to encourage them with fruits and vegetables as well," Hoffman said. "When you go out to eat in the community, there needs to be a greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Its when all of us work together that habits can change."
The healthier options will cost more for parents. Last May, the Wichita School Board voted to increase the price by five cents per meal.