Mixed grades for new, healthy school lunch rules

September 14, 2012 - 1:35 AM
New School Lunches

Side salads await the students of Eastside Elementary School in Clinton, Miss., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. Much consideration goes into the planning of these school children's lunches. The leaner, greener school lunches served under new federal standards are getting mixed grades from students. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (AP) — Leaner, greener school lunches served under new federal standards are getting mixed grades from students.

One student complains because his cafeteria no longer serves chicken nuggets. Another gripes that her school lunch just isn't filling. A third says he's happy to eat an extra apple with his lunch, even as he's noshing on his own sub.

The guidelines approved this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture set limits on calories and phase in whole grains. Schools must offer at least one vegetable or fruit per meal. They can still serve chocolate milk, but it has to be nonfat.

A USDA official says reactions in schools so far this fall have been positive.

But some active students, like freshman Rachelle Chinn of Clarence, Mo., who plays softball, say the fruits and vegetables wear off too soon, leaving her hungry.