The experts tell us that one out of every three kids is overweight or obese in America. OPS is fighting that trend.
When appetites rev-up in Omaha’s public schools, the kids are headed in the right direction. Each meal is carefully planned by Tammy Yarmon, Director of Nutritional Services.
She buys in bulk but with almost a third of students obese or overweight in Nebraska, she's taking steps not to bulk up the kids.
Yarmon, said, "We started making changes a long time ago so when the new standards towards meals went into place we really didn't have to change a lot."
Yarmon has worked on gradual change over years so new federal nutrition restrictions soon to take affect don't put a bad taste in kids' mouths.
One cafeteria worker told us, "Nobody likes a healthy garbage can. We want our kids to eat what it is that they take."
So, they keep lunchtime favorites but with a healthy twist. Fried beef cutlets are breaded with whole grain. The popular mashed potatoes and gravy have significantly lower sodium and much more fruit and veggie options.
Even the treats are healthier. The chocolate chip cookies are whole grain.
Students say, though a little less salty, and a little less sweet, they see the meals paying off in the future.
Fifth grader Marissa Montgomery said, “Even if it's not the same you can still eat it because you know it's getting you healthy."
Her fifth grade classmate, Lucas Melancon, just cut to the chase. He said, “Keeps you not being fat."
Part of the OPS Wellness Policy also includes educating kids. Healthy eating is discussed in a variety of classes.