Federal Mandate Causing Tummy Grumbles For Some Oklahoma Students

Friday, October 19th 2012, 5:38 pm

They're supposed to make our children healthier and reduce childhood obesity, but students and parents say the new public school lunches are only making them hungry.

The new federal mandate went into effect at the beginning of the school year. Across the nation schools now have to meet certain nutrition and calorie requirements for school lunches.

On this day, when Kimberly Blatz's children are on fall break, she's in charge of making their lunch. So Blatz's knows they'll get enough to eat. But Monday when they go back to school it's a different story.

"It just sustains me for an hour or two and then I start feeling hungry again," said Blatz's son, Ian.

As part of the new mandates, junior high meals are now limited to between 600 and 700 calories.

4/27/2012 Related Story: We Paid For It: School Lunches

"What they want to do is what they're calling smarter lunches," said OSU Extension Director LaDonna Dunlop, MS, RD, LD. 

The OSU Cooperative Extension office is working with schools on the new requirements. Every meal has to include fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, about 2 oz of lean protein, and skim or 1% milk.

"Their whole focus is trying to increase the amounts of the fruits and the vegetables," Dunlop explains.

But students across have been nation complaining about not getting enough to eat. A video, made by some Kansas students about the new lunches has received over a million hits on YouTube.

Blatz's two growing boys are singing the same tune.

"We are on a budget, a very thin budget, so I'm really counting on those meals that they get, and they're not getting them," said Blatz.

While the kids in Kansas complain about not having enough energy for afterschool sports, Blatz worries about how this will affect her boys' learning. And Ian tells News 9 he does find it harder to focus when he starts to get hungry.

If your kids are coming home hungry, Dunlop says schools are supposed to allow seconds on fruits and vegetables.