Mississippi school meals among healthiest in US

More than 80% of state's districts are meeting USDA's new meal requirements.

Aug. 19— Two years ago, the Hattiesburg School District removed deep fryers from its schools, eliminating fried foods from the lunch menu.

“We wanted to offer our students healthier meal options at school,” said Jas N Smith, a spokesman for the school district. “Schools kind of have a unique situation. We have, for lack of a better word, a captive audience.”

It was one of many efforts by school districts across the state to offer students healthier lunches.

Today, more than 80 percent of Mississippi school districts are meeting federal regulations for serving healthy lunches to students, according to the federal Department of Agriculture.