Slowly, kids developing appetite for healthier school lunches

The overhaul of school nutrition hasn't been easy to swallow, but south Florida kids seem to be warming to new menus.

MIAMI—The healthy school food campaign championed by first lady Michelle Obama enters year No. 3 to continued mixed reviews.

Political critics still complain about the “Mommy State” menu, some kids still toss just out about anything of vegetable origin, and there is no hope that the banana will ever replace the brownie as a favorite snack with grade-schoolers.

But, say the managers of Broward and Miami-Dade’s school menus, there is evidence that students are slowly, very slowly coming around to accept the bigger splashing of green and the slashing of fatty, sugary foods.

Both school districts will keep essentially the same menu as last year with slight modifications based on student preference and federal regulations.

Miami-Dade, for instance, is unveiling a new food truck to make healthy food seem more hip. Broward is continually updating its mix of vegetables.

But the menu is mainly designed to deliver the right fuel for spirited playground races or for tackling the SAT. Both school systems will continue to offer salads at every meal, and desserts remain a no-no.

“This meal will definitely meet the kid’s nutritional needs,” said Sheah Rarback, the director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

The big question is whether the meal ends up eaten or dumped in the trash.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/03/4269988/slowly-kids-developing-an-appetite.html#storylink=cpy