The School Nutrition Association has made recommendations for changes in menu guidelines, and flexible standards for school lunches are being considered.
The recommendation that school districts be given flexibility to decide whether or not to require students to take a fruit or vegetable in school lunches is generating some controversy. The United Fresh Produce Association objected immediately, as part of a group issuing a new position paper on the renewal of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
“SNA supports offering a greater variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables; however, the requirement that a student must take a half-cup fruit or vegetable with every breakfast and lunch has increased waste and costs, thus limiting funds for menu enhancements for their programs,” according to the paper. “(School foodservice authorities) know best whether this mandate has been beneficial or detrimental and should be allowed to decide whether students are required to take a fruit or vegetable with each meal.”
Some researchers say that the mandate which forces students to take a fruit or vegetable with every meal has doubled waste and trash, as reported in a news release from the School Nutrition Association.