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Kids choosing nutritious foods at school

READ MORE: Kids choosing nutritious foods at school
WILMINGTON -- What are your kids eating at school? New research from the University of Minnesota suggests kids are choosing to eat nutritious foods over unhealthy options. But does that ring true in our area? Every day Myrtle Grove Middle School students are faced with lots of option for lunch. Some healthy, some not so healthy. So what did they choose? While all of the food offered in the cafeteria meets federal and state nutrition guidelines, the kids we spoke with weren't overly impressed with the healthy options available. Physical education teacher Sally Meserole has been keeping track of the school lunch menu over the past few years. While she applauds the elimination of deep fryers from elementary and middle schools she thinks the school system has a long way to go to entice kids to make healthier choices. She wants the school system to eliminate the ala carte menu, and instead offer two complete balanced meal choices each day. "They have so many choices that it's difficult for them to say no to the pizza and the french fries while they're there. They do try to limit the number of times a week they're offered, and that's a step in the right direction," Messerole said. School Nutrition Director Imer Smith believes overall, kids make healthy choices and defends the school's offerings. "We do tossed salads every day. The burgers were on whole-wheat bread. The cheese on the burger was low fat. The burger itself meets the total saturated fat requirements," Smith said. "A few of them are making good choices. But there's a lot of cookies going down the hatch as well." The nutrition director said that it can be challenging to make foods healthier and still meet federal guidelines. Because even though there are limits on fat and cholesterol, there are minimum requirements for caloric count. So if they trim too much fat, for example, they won't meet the required number of calories.

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Nutrious meals at school

During the Thanksgiving holiday I was visiting relatives in Charlotte. I read an article concerning this very issue in "People" magazine. A principal decided back in 1999 to change her school to "no sugar, no fat" meals. She even refused a godmother bringing cupcakes for her godchild's birthday party at school. Since the planned menu began the grades for math & science have improved greatly and displinary actions have dropped by 15%. The children are more alert & have greater focus on studies & physical fitness. Her's is the only school in the nation to adopt this plan. Just think what would happen if New Hanover County adopted a similar meal plan & physical fitness for all of our children. It can be done, it would absolutely cost less to serve nutrious meals, just do it even though you will surpass the federal & state guidelines, which are so outdated. Let's do what's right for all children.

School lunches

I agree that the scholls do not really make sure that the children are getting the right nutrients. I went and ate lunch with my 7 year old at his school one day, and they do have some healthy choices. That one day they were offering pizza and I do not remember what the other choice was, but instead of GIVING them their serving of vegies they asked them IF THEY WANTED their vegies. If the kids said that they did not want it they only got a slice of pizza and milk and that was it. I think that they should be required to put it on their plate if they want it or not. I know my son and probably like many other children, if you ask them if they want vegies they are going to say no, but if you put it on their plate they will go ahead and eat it. Also that pizza that my son and I ate that day had so much oil on it. I pressed my napkin down on it and the oil that was in that pizza soaked my napkin.

9 times out of 10, the kids

9 times out of 10, the kids will throw their veggies away. They may eat them for you at home, but school is a different story. So I think its less wasteful to let them choose.

advice from Minnesota

I would be dubiuos of any information coming from that University.Liberal PC is all they know.