Several months after new menu requirements went into effect and as students elsewhere boycott against the healthier options, students in Davenport appear to be embracing their fruits and vegetables.
The new USDA school lunch requirements have caused some controversy around the country. Especially in Kansas, where one high school made national news after they made a video called “We are hungry.” The video protests the new lunch requirements. The new school guidelines at the high school level have to take a half cup of fruit or a half cup of vegetables, but how much are they actually eating and much is landing in the trash?
“They’re taking what they want and we really haven’t seen any increase waste because they can take their own selection,” says Davenport’s Food and Nutrition Specialist, Kent Heinen.
Heinen says high school students in Davenport are actually taking more fruits and vegetables than what’s actually required.
“From what I’ve seen observing students in the lunch lines at the high schools, more and more are taking the fruits and vegetables that I haven’t seen them taking before,” says Heinen.
With more students wanting the healthy stuff, schools have had to buy more food.
“A high school with an average size of about 700 we use to probably prep 700 one half cups of fruits and veggies carried over stock, but now we’re seeing probably making double that, if not triple that,” says Heinen.
And as for students elsewhere complaining about the smaller amount of food Heinen says, “Americans do have too much fat and protein in their diets so although entrees may be little smaller, calories are supplemental with fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a good thing, it’s a healthier choice.”
It’s a slightly different story at the elementary level where kids have been throwing away more fruits and vegetables but Heinen says that’s been improving as of lately.