School changes lunch menu to promote health

School changes lunch menu to promote health

School changes lunch menu to promote health

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by WFLA-TV

WCNC.com

Posted on August 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM

TAMPA BAY, FL. -- It's not every day the Commissioner of Agriculture comes to serve up school lunch, but that's exactly what's happening in Florida.

Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam is visiting schools to promote healthy eating.

"Ultimately the push is to get healthier foods into the schools and Florida is well positioned to do that more affordably than anywhere else," he says.

Putnam's office will take over the state's school nutrition programs January first.

His plan is to have more fresh produce on the menu, particularly from local farms and providers when possible.

Mia Masino  from CK Produce of Tampa  says the "Farms to Tables" push makes health sense and financial sense.

"When the produce is seasonal, when it's from Florida, Georgia, all this area it's the best bang for your buck. I mean you're getting a very good piece of produce and product, and it's very inexpensive," she says.

Will kids go for the switch to healthier whole foods?

Citrus County dairy farmer and milk producer Dale McClellan, who created fat-free, lower sugar chocolate and strawberry milks to meet the state's healthier expectations, says farmers have to offer kids something they won't waste.

"As a 57-year-old man I'm resistant to change, but the reality of it is in my business, where we compete with national brands we have to do something different not the same," he says.

Commissioner Putnam's fresh produce push directly relates to the USDA's new food guidelines, which recommend half of your plate be made up of fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet.
 

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