School lunches adding more green, districts adjusting to changes


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Jason Thomason

LONE OAK, Ky. -  The next time your child reaches for the lunch tray, they can expect healthier food.

"I think fresh fruits and vegetables will always be a good thing in any sense," said Sara Jane Hedges.

She's in charge of coordinating 12 McCracken County lunch programs and thinks green is good. "Less calories, offer more nutrients, more fiber - things to make you healthy adult and a healthy teenager," she said.

Schools are now required to serve one cup of fruit and vegetables daily. Mother Laura Hughes applauds the effort, but she wants schools to do more.

"The cons of that being that they don't offer them on the child's plate itself. It's there for the taking but will the child take it," Hughes said.

Hughes' eight year-old son John Robert isn't a fan of most fruits and vegetables and she would like to see schools make more of an attempt to require kids to eat them, but Hedges said districts can't force students to eat the food. She's had complaints from parents who say their kids are coming home hungry, but she thinks it's because students aren't eating.

"We are having some kids that are saying they are hungry and they aren't getting what they're used to. It's that they possibly didn't take all of the options that were offered to them that day."