The act requires more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to be served in school cafeterias while also requiring less sodium, calories and saturated fat.
Students are no longer allowed to purchase meal items such as pizza, rice bowls or spicy chicken burgers a la carte. “Students must now take a ½ cup of a fruit or vegetable with their meal,” and 1 cup of milk for a total cost of $3.50 per meal, McGregor says.
CHS’s cafeteria has had to decrease food portions, especially evidenced by the smaller bagels which must now be only 2 ounces and contain at least 50 percent whole wheat.
“It’s hard for certain athletes who should be able to eat more,” McGregor says.
Junior water polo player Michael Haydock says, “I’m hungry by the end of the day.” Freshman Maya Stewart agrees that the lunches aren’t enough to fill her up.
“I use school lunches as a supplement,” senior Grant Thornburgh says. The lunches alone are not enough to be completely filling, according to Thornburgh.
Other students seem to have no problem with the smaller portion size.
“At first it doesn’t seem like enough food,” sophomore Sidney Watts says. “But that’s just because we want more. We don’t actually need it.”
Sophomore Dakota Bond also seems satisfied with the meal sizes. “It’s a good amount of food,” he says.
Speaking to the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the number of lunches bought at CHS has not differed from last year, according to McGregor.
In addition, most students seem to be eating the fruits or vegetables that are now a requirement in their lunch.
“The fruit was actually all I ate,” freshman Hans Voegeli says.
But McGregor comments that in order for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to be truly successful, more nutrition education is needed.
“Children need to have nutrition education,” McGregor says. “They need to understand why it’s important to make healthy choices.”