As junior Anna Colby opens her bag of Otis cookies she notices that there are only two instead of three. She was disappointed by this new change because now her tradition of sharing the cookies with a friend has come to an end. Other students have also complained about this new change also.
Throughout the past years East has gradually been changing cafeteria food to make healthier choices and changing out the food in the vending machines from candy and soda to trail mix and tea.
According to Krawitz, sales have decreased 60-65 percent since these new changes. The problem is that the students won’t buy the healthy food they are now serving because there isn’t a lot of sugar in the products, but the junk food just increases body mass.
The state of Kansas chooses the types of food that has to meet the requirements of a child’s nutritional value and vitamin needs. East has to follow the guidelines for the national school lunch program, which means more fruits and vegetables and less foods with higher calories.
The Child Nutrition Act is improving the popular foods like pizza and hamburgers by using leaner meat and whole wheat crust. Recently, East has changed the pasta to whole grain and uses 100 percent beef. Two new dishes being offered are cheese steak sandwiches that includes onions and green peppers and there is also a rice bowl that includes stir fried veggies and whole grain rice.
Jill Funk, the district’s nutritionist, has been working with the SMSD food services to increase the amount of vegetables and fruits that are being served.
“Before putting the food in the cafeteria, we test the food at various schools before trying it. Most of the responses were positive,” Funk said.
Funk has received positive feedback about the new confetti fries offered at schools. It consists of half sweet potato fries and half white fries. They are now serving the confetti fries and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as well. One of the goals of the food service is decreasing sodium. Another new item being offered is the black bean and corn salsa in order to increase legumes.
Students have different opinions on the food. Some think that it isn’t healthy and won’t eat it and others think that healthy choices can still be made.
Junior Sarah Langtry is a new student at East and has never tried the food in the cafeteria.
“I bring my lunch everyday,” Langtry said. I would try the cafeteria food, but it looks pretty unhealthy.”
“I think the cafeteria food is pretty good. There are equal amounts of unhealthy and healthy options. You can make your lunch as healthy or unhealthy as you want,” junior Connor McGannon said.
Now that these changes have come into play, students have access to a healthier school lunch. Each student is given a take home menu and from that they can easily decide from a variety of options, but it is only up to the students to decide what kind of food they are choosing to eat.