Healthier Foods In Schools

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

The lunch menu at Omaha Public Schools looks a lot different than it used to.

Foods high in fat and low in nutritional value have been replaced with healthier choices.

It’s a plan that has gradually been implemented over twelve years.

Tammy Yarmon is the Director of Nutrition Services at Omaha Public Schools.

She says before food gets to the lunch line it must meet specific guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture.

Then the Nebraska Department of Education steps in to determine how each school district should meet the federal requirements.

“It's not as easy as people think. You just can't go from point A to point B and say here this is what it is.”

Omaha Public schools are required to serve three 1/4 cups of fruits and vegetables at every meal.

By next fall, students will be looking at even healthier options to choose from.

A new federal law will provide 4.5 billion dollars for school lunches that will follow updated nutrition guidelines to increase fruits and vegetables and reduce sodium in school foods.

Yarmon says lowering salt is a huge challenge.

“It’s a real issue because sodium is flavor and when you back off the sodium you back off the flavor,” says Yarmon.

She says it's important to remember that it's not just the school's responsibility to make sure children eat healthy.

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