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School Lunches Get Healthier for Upcoming School Year

WARE, Mass (WGGB) — At the Stanley M. Kozial Elementary School, a healthy lunch is disguised as a pizza.

The wheat crust and low-sodium mozzarella are a more nutritious alternative for the kids, without them even noticing the difference.

At least it’s managed to fool elementary school student Owen Battige. “I like the pizzas. I like them” he said.

Kozial already provides free breakfast and lunch through its summer food service program.

The school is getting a head start on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It goes into effect this school year and mandates that the USDA’s core child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service and National School Lunch Programs are all revamped with healthier options.

At Kozial, they’re taking the new school lunch criteria seriously, like incorporating dark green vegetables and setting calorie limits.

However, it’s a change some kids might not notice. “They’re still going to have pizza, still going to have salad. Other favorites are still going to be there, but the portion sizes might have to take some adjustments, so a lot of the favorites are still there, and hopefully some new favorites” said Jeffery Nicholas, the Food Service Director for Ware Public Schools.

Nicholes says kids will have fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and won’t see favorites disappear. He doesn’t think it will be too hard getting kids on board with healthier choices, if he gives them a say. “The goal is to do some surveys with the children, to and do some classroom presentation and get them to understand what it looks like, what it tastes like. That’s the plan to go attack it, so hopefully they’ll like it” he adds.

“I’m like, fine with it, because I already like to eat healthy, and some of the lunches here and I usually go with the salad” said Ware Middle School student Lilly Hennebery.

“Eating healthy, people maybe that want to lose weight could be able to lose weight better, it might encourage people to eat healthier too” Ware High School student Zamah McCoy added.

The USDA is paying for all of the changes. They’ll also reimburse ware public schools for each child who eats a free or reduced school lunch.

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