New School Lunch Options On Display In St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - The latest trends in school lunches were on display today at the River’s Edge Convention Center.
The Minnesota Commodity Expo allowed school nutritionists the opportunity to sample new products from school lunch vendors.
A new study indicates that the changes made to the school hot lunch program in 2010 have begun to slow the rise in childhood obesity. Children were tracked before and after the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 championed by Michelle Obama.
The act increased the number of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains required in school lunches. As a result, the nutritional content of vendors’ menu offerings is under increased scrutiny.
Walking through the trade show, school nutritionists were treated to samples of entrees from dozen of vendors. Samples included sushi, cheese and jalapeno poppers, burritos, enchiladas, and fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables.
Sarah Klein is the K through 12 specialist at Key Impact. She brought samples of sushi and fish sticks and is certain there’s room for many different offerings in any school.
Our manufacturers have been very creative in incorporating nutrition into items that fit profiles of different ethnic areas. Kids are eating a lot more adventurously. So you see a lot more Asian-inspired foods. (There’s) a lot more foods that are targeted towards the desires of kids looking to have a Mexican option. You'll also see school nutrition directors are getting creative with how they use the products that the suppliers manufacture.
The Minnesota House has passed a bill allowing every school student one free breakfast and lunch per day at school. Many vendors at the show are confident they can supply schools with the foods they need if the Senate passes the bill and it’s signed into law.
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