SA students split on new school lunch guidelines

Some appreciate healthier variety, others say portions are too small

SAN ANTONIO - New USDA regulations for school lunches are mandating lower calories for meals, while forcing more portions of fruits and vegetables.

Many of the students at Clark High School on Thursday didn't have any issues with the new rules.

"It's actually more healthy. It's actually more satisfying -- more filling this year," said Alex Rico, a junior at Clark.

"Even just today I noticed that some of the food is a little bit smaller but I think its still just as good," said Haylee Matecko, a senior at Clark.

One of the reasons why many of the students are so accepting of the new meals: the Northside Independent School District (NISD) already follows stricter guidelines for school lunches.

"Actually at the high school level, the changes have been very minimal because Northside, for the last 10 years, has done a lot of changes so the kids are not noticing the difference because we've already made the changes," said Thomas Wherry, child nutritional director at NISD.

While many of the students are happy with the school lunches, some of the bigger calorie-burners aren't quite as satisfied.

"I understand what they are trying to do. They're trying to fight obesity and stuff, but it doesn't fill everyone up," said football player and Clark junior Michael Coley.

Many of the students said the meals weren't enough to fill them up. They also stated that while they were allowed to purchase more, the cost of buying a second lunch tray is almost double what the first tray costs.

The students also seemed to be split on whether or not the federal government should have the power to mandate what is served to them at lunchtime.

"It's only one meal at school and then when you are out of school, you can do whatever you like to do, but while you are in school, certain rules have to be forced upon you," said Matecko.

"I don't think it's right because I think the district should decide what to do with the school lunches because it's their district. The government shouldn't have the right to control all the schools in Texas," said Coley.


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