RSU #34 Begins Healthier Meal Plans at Schools 

”Sometimes there’s less fat. Sometimes there’s less sugar. Sometimes there’s more carbohydrates.”This third grader is describing the new take on lunches at his school. RSU 34 has adopted a new healthier outlook on what they’re serving students.That’s because this year, the new meal standards outlined by the USDA under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 are going into effect.”With the new meal requirements that have come down from the state and federal levels, in order for us to get reimbursement we have to comply with their requests. That way the new meal requirements add a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables, more with whole grains. They’re more like homemade then what we’ve been able to do in the past,” said Stephanie Sally, the food service director for RSU #34.A meal plan like this one, could get challenging at times.”We live in the northeast so fresh fruits and vegetables on a year-round basis tends to be a bit more expensive to acquire, so it will take some creativity on the part of the food service directors including ours,” said David Walker, the RSU #34 Superintendent.It’s a challenge they are ready to take on.”The staff has been really excited about being able to do this, the kitchen staff at all the schools and the staff in the schools, the teachers, the nurses, everybody has been very supportive and excited about it,” said Sally.Including the biggest critics: the student’s. They seem to like what’s on today’s menu.”Rice, chicken with gravy, kiwi and zucchini and carrots.”And, for good reasons.”They’re healthy. They make you stronger and faster.”Good habits like these are what this whole thing is really all about.”If you’re introduced at an early age to those foods, to vegetables and fruits that maybe they wouldn’t have been, I think long-term you make some habits and children develop habits that are healthy habits around making those choices,” said Walker.