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Schools Prepare for New Lunch Standards

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Published on Jul 23, 2012

SPRINGFIELD -- Students will be greeted to healthier options as they make their way through the lunch line this year, but turning the healthier options into a reality has been a challenge for food service workers."We thought we were in compliance, but we were not" said Chris Ashley, Springfield Food Service Supervisor.School districts across the country are reevaluating their lunch menus as new federal guidelines go into effect aimed at boosting nutrition.  The new standards requires schools to:Serve larger portions of fruits and vegetables Ensure milk be 1% or non-fatIncrease whole-grain rich foodsLimit calories based on a child's age"We're hoping from the standpoint of the student, that they don't notice too much of a change" said Ashley.Springfield food service workers have been adjusting their menu options and admit the process has been tough.  Food Service supervisor, Chris Ashley says after spending weeks counting calories and portion sizes, he notes the changes have the potential to be overwhelming."Doesn't look like much until you're a kindergardner and you've got a mound of salad on your plate, along with your sandwich, milk, peaches and the extra bread you have to have for it to be compliant, it'll be a very full tray" said Ashley.Parents learning of the new healthy guidelines have mixed feelings."I think a good meal in school is great for them, it might be the healthiest thing for them that day" said Victor Byrd, Dayton resident."Get the parents involved, and ask parents what their children's normal diet is" said Krissy Swyers, Springfield resident.Ashley says he's going with a wait and see approach on how successful the new standards will be."I know we'll be serving more salads, but whether they'll be eating more salads, I'm not sure" said Ashley.The guidelines take effect beginning the 2012-2013 school year.

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