A la carte lunches are out at Calif. high school

Administrators say complete meals offer more balanced diet.

March 20—Starting April 2, the Brentwood, Calif. campus will become the first of Liberty Union High School District's three mainstream schools to eliminate the option of ordering food a la carte and instead make the food part of require a balanced meal that will include fruit, vegetables and milk.

Freedom and Heritage High Schools will follow suit this fall.

"Now you'll have to be nutritious," responds Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Gene Clare when students tell him they only want a slice of pizza.

It's not that every item on the current menu represents a step toward obesity: Kids can order chicken Caesar salad, fruit bowls and yogurt layered with granola and fruit.

Moreover, no one serving may have more than 400 calories or contain more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories, according to state Department of Education rules.

In addition, since school started in August, the district has replaced high-sugar Gatorade with a less-fattening version, swapped out greasy potato chips for baked ones and substituted whole wheat bread for white.