Food bars nixed in favor of fruits and veggies on tray

District cites federal regulations as requiring options, not as a choice.

April 22—Elementary students at Muskogee (Okla.) Public Schools will soon no longer be able to choose fruits or veggies from a produce bar. Federal regulations and rising costs have prompted the district’s Child Nutrition Service to discontinue the food bars at all 10 MPS elementary schools and for elementary students at Rougher Alternative Academy, said Jaime Speligne, the district’s director of child nutrition. Food bars at Alice Robertson Junior High, Muskogee High School and RAA will continue, she said.

The Healthy & Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 now requires public schools to serve fruits and vegetables on the trays, not as an option, she said. Speligne said the food bars—where kids get hot vegetables, salads and fruit—will remain in operation at the elementary schools until the current order of fresh produce runs out. The food bars could close within the next two weeks, she said.