By Michael Schwanke
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
3:03 PM CDT, August 28, 2012
Schools across Kansas have re-worked school lunch menus to meet new federal standards and students are taking notice.
“Sometimes I eat it, but sometimes it's just nasty,” says Rhonda, a student at Wichita Northeast Magnet High School.
Parents have contacted Eyewitness News to complain about the changes. Many tell us their children aren’t getting enough food.
"Portions are a little smaller,” says Zane, also a student at Wichita Northeast Magnet.
That's true, calorie count is down, but the biggest change is what’s offered.
“It does make the tray look a little different,” says Wichita Schools Food Services Director Vicki Hoffman.
New federal standards this year require schools to serve more nutritious meals. That means more fruit and vegetables and fewer carbohydrates, a school lunch staple that fills kids up.
Hoffman says the changes are based on a nutrition study.
“You've got to eat more fruits and vegetables, a variety of vegetables, more whole grains, less carbohydrates and limit the protein,” says Hoffman.
"The idea of what they're doing is to help students understand proper portions and proper eating habits, I think that’s what’s good about it,” adds Zane.
Hoffman says students who need more calories, like athletes, may need to supplement with a la carte options.
“The whole goal is kids eat healthier and learn that's what's needed for lifetime of health,” says Hoffman.
The USDA funds school lunch programs across the nation. Students in Wichita can take as many fruits and vegetables as they want.
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