School Officials: Kids Just Throw Away Healthy Food

We can't make students eat it, says official
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2014 11:39 AM CDT
School Officials: Kids Just Throw Away Healthy Food
An eighth-grader shows the three healthy food items from the fruit and vegetable serving cart during lunch in the cafeteria at Wilson Junior High School in Manitowoc, Wis.   (AP Photo/Herald-Times Reporter, Sue Pischke)

It's not just House Republicans that are fighting Michelle Obama's healthy school lunches. School officials say kids across the country are actually throwing away the healthy food offered to them in place of less-healthy options. In New Mexico, whole-wheat tortillas went into the garbage, while whole-grain biscuits in Tennessee were rejected. In one Arkansas school, kids used their uneaten applesauce containers to create pyramids, and then threw them away, the Washington Post reports. The news comes as Obama defended her anti-childhood obesity program yesterday and a House committee voted to temporarily allow schools to opt out of the nutrition standards passed back in 2010.

"We can’t force students to eat something they don’t want," a food service director in New Mexico said, per the School Nutrition Association, which has teamed with food companies to oust the policy. "And with sky-high produce costs, we simply cannot afford to feed our trash cans." That's apparently what's happening, with critics describing trash cans spilling over with fruits and vegetables. But while other schools admit the transition was rocky, they say it's now smooth sailing. "We have an herb-baked chicken that our children love. We bake our french fries, and we have whole-grain, locally grown grits we do for breakfast that are awesome," one nutritional director said. The opt-out bill will likely be considered later this summer. (More Michelle Obama stories.)

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