Schools across the country have changed their menus. New guidelines require schools to offer more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, less fat, and smaller portion sizes. But are those changes enough to keep your kids full?
"I've seen a decrease in the number of kids eating hot lunch and I think it's due to the serving size. I think for our middle school kids the serving size has really decreased to the point where kids are going home hungry," said Marathon Elementary School Principal Jeff Reiche. He says it's frustrating. "If you eat at noon, 4 o'clock is a long ways away from and your athletic practice is first ending at 5 - 5:30 and by the time kids get home it's 5:30 - 6 and the athletic competitions, the volleyball game on the road, the cross country meet on the road it's even longer," he said.
But what are students saying about the new changes to school menus? "It's not a lot of food that they give you here so after school you have practice and our coach pushes us pretty hard for two hours straight so you really get hungry in that time," said Nathan Stoffel, a 7th grader. "I think the changes are really good because it helps enforce good eating habits," said Arial Everett, also a 7th grader.
But unfortunately, if kids are leaving the classroom hungry, Reiche says there's not much schools can do about it. "At this stage no, not unless they're encouraging kids to bring snacks along the way which we have been."
Reiche says he agrees there's an obesity problem in America, but says there are more ways to tackle this problem than decreasing serving sizes, including education in school and parents teaching their kids healthy eating habits at home.