New USDA requirements are changing the way school lunch will be served.
At United Community School in Boone, a brand new salad bar has been added to the school’s lunch room.
“I like it because it gives me different foods that I like, like broccoli, salad, watermelon, it’s really good,” says 4th grader Lilly Leith.
The school was one of five in the greater Des Moines area to receive a free salad bar from Hy-Vee and Dole foods.
It’s all part of first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to help fight childhood obesity.
“We’re working at the national level to try to bring more fruits and veggies to schools across the country,” says Tom Stenzel of United Fresh Produce.
New regulations put in place this year require students to have both a fruit, vegetable, whole grain, meat and milk at every meal.
“It’s really new for us, I’ve been here since kindergarten, and we’ve never had it before, it’s a new experience, and it helps with how healthy we are,” says 6th grader Megan Osborn.
At United, they say having the salad bar will help make meeting national standards possible.
However, the smaller portions have also caused parents to worry if their kids are getting enough food.
“We started last spring, trying to educate parents, and students as far as what the new requirements are, the new guidelines are, and I think that helped a lot,” says United Principal and Superintendent Sara Keehn.
More than 1,500 salad bars have been donated to schools across the country as part of the First Lady’s initiative.