High School Students Post Video Messages Blasting School Lunches - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

High School Students Post Video Messages Blasting School Lunches

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Under the new rules, the average elementary school lunch may not top 650 calories. Middle school lunches may not top 700, and high school lunches are limited to 850 calories. Under the new rules, the average elementary school lunch may not top 650 calories. Middle school lunches may not top 700, and high school lunches are limited to 850 calories.

High school students around the country are creating videos and posting them on Youtube, to blast new U.S. Department of Agriculture rules reducing calories in their school lunches.

Under the new rules, the average elementary school lunch may not top 650 calories. Middle school lunches may not top 700, and high school lunches are limited to 850 calories.

The video messages are simple: that the USDA-mandated calorie limits leave them hungry.

FOX 29s Bruce Gordon found the calorie drop in Philadelphia public schools is small- about 30 calories dropped from last year's average meal.

And some students like the healthier choices now available at lunch.

"I ate some peaches today and some corn and I had a hamburger on wheat bread," says West Philadelphia High School sophomore Jasmine Barratt. "It was good."

The big difference this year from last, is the federal mandate to force kids to take a piece of fruit or some vegetables on their tray, before heading off to eat.

"We've always offered fresh fruit and vegetables on the menu," says Wayne Grasela, a senior vice president in charge of the district's food service. But now, "we have to push it. In other words, if the student does not accept a fruit or a vegetable, the meal is not reimbursable (by the federal government.) "It's got to be on their plate."

But that doesn't mean it ends up in their stomach.

We saw lots of fruit and vegetables tossed- seemingly untouched- in the waste can.

For some, it's actually a sport- food basketball.

Tenth grader Jeff Jones explains: "If you have an orange or an apple, you take it, and- you have a trash can- shoot it in the trash can. See if you can make it."

The Philadelphia school district has been planning for this day for years.

In 2006, they made their snacks healthier.

In 2009, they got rid of their deep fryer.

And now, they're adding whole grain breads to the menu.

But, young people raised on junk food aren't big on change.

And school officials know it will take time, for healthy to equal happy.

Sophomore Rashaad Smith's review of the new healthier lunch?

"It's kind of nasty."

Next year, the government will begin to mandate a reduction in the sodium levels in school lunches.

Again, the Philadelphia school district is already moving in that direction, hoping to reduce the shock to teenaged taste buds.

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