Lufkin ISD menu guidelines helping students create healthy eating habits

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For the students at Anderson Elementary spaghetti with sides of fruits and vegetables were on the lunch menu Wednesday afternoon.

"They are just trying to make food healthier," said Donna Middaugh, Student Nutrition Services Director.

LISD Nutrition Services Director Donna Middaugh says this school year the state of Texas made a few changes to public school menu policy.

Students are to have five components on their plate: grains, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, to make a healthy meal.

"There used to be a vegetable/fruit component, now there is a fruit component and a vegetable component and we have to give more fruits and vegetables," said Middaugh.

Middaugh says there are different guidelines for, elementary, middle and high school campuses… all have portion size limits to meet student's needs.

Food and beverages sold a la carte like chips or baked goods also have to meet certain standards before they can be sold to students.

"They have to be a certain size dessert items say a cookie or baked products they have to be a certain portion size and a certain fat content," said Middaugh.

Anderson Principal Cindy Tierney says children need a good meal, in order for them to learn.

"When students come to school hungry or when students have eaten the wrong things for breakfast they get very hungry and can't focus on learning," said Tierney.

And faculty members hope implementing healthy guidelines early on, will carry on throughout student's lives.

"We really stress the importance of healthy eating habits early on we feel that if our children learn how to eat in a balanced healthy manner that's a life skill," said Tierney.

Right now half of the grain offered must be whole grains and by the 2014 school year schools will have to meet new restrictions on sodium content.

Students also have the option of a sandwich or salad during lunch

Nutrition officials say they are also adding more fruits to the breakfast options.

For more information on the healthy options you can find the student nutrition services page on facebook.

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