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News school lunch requirements debated

By Brian Bishop, bbishop@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 02 2012 01:51:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 01 2012 03:11:12 PM CDT

There is a debate that is still happening about whether schools are feeding your children enough calories to get them through the day.

There is a debate that is still happening about whether schools are feeding your children enough calories to get them through the day.

New legislation has been introduced in the house to try and change the current USDA guidelines and feed kids more. We spent the day gathering the facts at a local school.

The USDA and the school nutrition association have put guidelines into place that recommend a cap on calories for elementary school children at 650 calories per lunch. Some legislators say that is not enough and they think Washington is out of touch.

Congressman Phil Roe is one of those who disagrees with the guidelines. "What you've done is, you have made it very prescriptive that every child is the same and they are not," he said. "Kids are different."

School nutrition officials say they are meeting the guidelines and those are actually tailored to meet the needs of different ages and sizes of students. We're told they're currently trying to provide meals to meet one-third of the daily calorie needs of all three tiers for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

There are lots of different opinions about the change. If you want more information, you can go online to find calculators where you can input your child's information such as their age, gender and activity levels to find out how many calories per day would be right.

In the meantime, students can always pack their lunch if you feel they aren't getting enough calories from school meals.

For students on free or reduced lunch there is legislation in the works that is trying to repeal the calorie cap. That legislation has yet to pass the house or senate.

These guidelines were put into place after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.