This year, Richmond County is cracking down to help students make healthier food choices in and out of school. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 12, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 12, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Lunch time at Monte Sano Elementary School can get a little hectic. Students have three meal options a day and plenty of side choices.
"We have broccoli, kiwi and we just have a variety of fruits and vegetables for them," said Josephine Mack, director of Richmond County Schools' nutrition program.
She said this year the program is cracking down to help students make healthier food choices in and out of school.
"The whole idea is to furnish children with a nutritious meal and to expose them to good nutrition habits," she said.
This year the school district is following new food guidelines. The old pyramid is out and the food plate is in.
Cafeteria Manager Darlene Dickerson said she serves fewer sweets and uses more whole grains and veggies.
"They have more choices instead of bringing a lot of snack food that have a lot fat," she said.
But healthier choices have caused lunch prices to rise by 50 cents.
"You the saying it cost more to eat healthier," Dickerson said.
Mack says it's easier to qualify for free or reduced lunches with the rise in fees.
"After we get the application it goes through the process and then it is determined if it is free reduced or paid," she said.
It is still free for all Richmond County students to eat breakfast at school.
"We serve breakfast in all 56 schools and that is commendable for the board because we are always trying to do what is best for children," she said.
So far, the students at Monte Sano elementary are not complaining. We'll let you know how they do with the broccoli and kiwi.