A growing uprising this morning over school lunches over the new guidelines from the Obama Administration that kicked in this year. The new regulations are designed to make school food healthier and more nutritious, ultimately limiting caloric and sodium intake. The program however is sparking a lunch room rebellion from students and educators alike. In Kansas, the new program prompted two teachers and some high school students to create a parody video which recently went viral on YouTube. Undersecretary for Food and Nutrition at the USDA, Kevin Concannon helped launch the program and has been visiting schools to see how students are adjusting. This morning Concannon joins “Starting Point” to discuss the new school menus and address the concerns of students, parents and teachers.
Concannon says from his nationwide visits it is apparent that “schools have made the adjustment to a much healthier diet.” “We’re serving just about the same number of calories s most schools were in the past. The difference being these are healthier calories. More fruits and vegetables and less pizza, less of those tater tots and generally … a much healthier meal for kids.”
The Undersecretary says the USDA is more than willing to help schools provide snacks for students. The new snacks would encompass food items such as whole wheat cheese pizzas, raw grape tomatoes and low-fat milk as opposed to a regular cheese pizza, canned pineapples and tater tots.
Concannon says the program is “a systemic effort to provide healthier foods to kids – 32 million American kids who have lunch at school everyday,” and for the most part students and school administrators have been pleased with the changes. Concannon recounts a visit with a first grader in New Orleans, “The little girl…we sat next to each other and she said ‘Sir if you don’t finish your broccoli, I’ll finish it for you’ and I declared hey that’s victory. We’re winning”
Concannon says he has “no hard feelings” over the video created by Kansas students and teachers and actually thought it was quite funny.