Healthier Lunches

LUNCHTIME IS often the highlight of the school day for students, and it will soon become a more nutritional meal for those students.

That is due to a new federal government-driven initiative, overhauling school meals. It is the first edict of its kind in 15 years.

While the new lunches may by less palatable to the students, the fresh food guidelines are needed and should yield healthy results. The revamping will apply to lunches subsidized by the federal government, which will heavily impact Eastern Ohio schools.

The move is made easier to swallow for school officials as the school districts will not have to shoulder the entire bill for increased costs. President Obama signed a child nutrition bill in 2010, providing financial help to school districts.

Once the new lunches are on the table, they will feature a limited caloric intake, while milk will be low in fat. Flavored milks must be nonfat. The meals will contain less sodium and more fruits, vegetables and grains will be served.

Whether students are receptive to the changes or not, they are ones that are in their best interest.

It is sad to say that often times the only full meal some students eat each day is the one they receive at school. That places a much greater emphasis on the nutritional quality of school lunches.

Change will not come immediately. Some of the new regulations will take effect in the 2012-13 school year. Others will be gradually phased in over time.

We see no problem with the implementation timetable. We are, however, very pleased that the lunch tables will be a much healthier venue.