Wake tries to beef up fruit, veggie offerings in school lunches

Posted October 23, 2012

— The Wake County Public School System is providing extra fruits and vegetables in student lunches as part of its efforts to meet tougher federal nutrition standards.

Area school cafeterias also are placing calorie limits on lunches appropriate to students' ages, have cut the fat and sodium in foods and are using more whole-grain items, such as hot dog buns.

Cafeterias also are using more North Carolina produce, and instead of two servings of fruits and vegetables on the lunch line, students now get four – at no extra charge.

"That dilemma of whether I choose this fruit or that fruit has gone away. This year, you just get them both," said Marilyn Moody, senior director of Child Nutrition Services for the school district.

Part of the challenge of getting students to eat fruits and vegetables is to make it easy for them. So, Moody said, officials have packaged items in kid-friendly containers.

"By seeing it and being exposed to it more often, they're more likely to start trying it," she said. "That's our goal – to get them to try new things."

Wake tries to beef up fruit, veggie offerings in school lunches Wake tries to beef up fruit, veggie offerings in school lunches

Brewer Best, a second-grader at Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, said she loads up on vegetables at lunch almost every day.

"I like that we have fruits and vegetables because I think it's a better and healthier choice," Brewer said as she ate some green beans.

Her father also appreciates the extra produce she's getting.

"It makes me feel a lot better knowing that, when she goes off to school and is buying lunch, the nutritional value's there," Roman Best said.


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  • kidsrn Oct 24, 2012

    It is a 2 sided problem---both the choice of food AND the reduced exercise/activity. At least offering additional veggies and fruits is a step in the RIGHT direction.

  • bill0 Oct 24, 2012

    "Our parents and grandparents grew up eating 3 meals a day with plenty of cow, pig, and chicken at each meal. It was ALL fried and covered in gravy. They were NOT fat. They worked hard."

    This is a popular myth, but it isn't actually true. Depending on your age, your parents or grandparents ate relatively little meat compared to people today. Meat used to be expensive! You had to make it stretch. You put a little meat in and a lot of potatoes or bread or biscuits or noodle or rice etc.

    But yeah, they worked hard. Still, they ate a lot less calories than people do today.

  • Da Toy Maker Oct 24, 2012


    The kids who won't eat them still are not going to eat them but at least ones that would like to have more choices.

    I remember my son complaining about lack of Fruits & Veggies while he was in Enloe. He is not very happy with the choices at College now either. LOL. I just tell him to buy more Fruits & Veggies from the Market.

    With our Nation's Obesity Rate, yall actually think it is a bad thing to encourage kids to eat more Fruits & Veggies. I know. It should be up to the parents. Guess who pay for all those Obesity related health care: We all! Don't you think??

  • piene2 Oct 24, 2012

    "I read recently that the current generation will be the first to not live longer then their parents due to a constant diet of garbage and pollution."

    so we should just give up on them right?
    what a horrible attitude to have.

    Perhaps you should actually read my post.

    "Correct, there is no use putting healthful food out if the kids will not eat it. For the most part they have been raised eating garbage by their garbage eating parents and it is already too late to make them change *without some drastic measures.*

  • carrboroyouth Oct 24, 2012

    excalibur810, thanks for responding to my post. I am glad to hear that the food isn't canned. I loved fruits and veggies as a kid.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 24, 2012

    Whatever! They are feeding the kids like they are gerbils. Give those kids some red meat. Kids are getting fat because of lack of exercise, not their diet. Our parents and grandparents grew up eating 3 meals a day with plenty of cow, pig, and chicken at each meal. It was ALL fried and covered in gravy. They were NOT fat. They worked hard.

  • bill0 Oct 24, 2012

    I can't believe there is any debate about this. Of course schools should be offering fruits and veggies to kids for lunch. Of course they should those as appealing as possible so kids actually eat them. Veggies should not be a partisan issue.

    I really don't understand modern "conservatives". In the good old days, your grandparents would have THANKED the teachers for making sure their kids ate their veggies.

  • storchheim Oct 24, 2012

    "Take out the soda machines, the snack machines, etc. Guess what--they will have them anyway." josephlawrence

    I learned to drink warm soda by bringing it with my lunch to NCSU. The machines were too expensive. By lunchtime the soda was room temp, but I survived.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Oct 24, 2012

    What the heck were they serving then anyway? Should not government schools be offering meals based on the Governments Health guidelines?? The food pyramid has been around for decades.

    Now lets let Government control our healthcare too!!!

  • whatelseisnew Oct 24, 2012

    "Make ya wonder how all these old people survived all these years?"

    Yeah it is hard to figure. I grew up gnawing on lead paint windowsills, asbestos insulated heating ducts and playing with that cool red stuff you could bet from breaking thermometers. I really appreciated it when the Dems banned incandescent bulbs so I could get some mercury back into my house.
    I appreciate the line in the article that said "at no extra charge". That does not exist. Some of the parents of some of those kids are paying for that food. Sorry, Virginia, yes there is a Santa Claus, No, there is not a free lunch.