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St. Lucie County School District reacts to Trump administration's new school lunch proposal

Plan would lighten regulations on fruits, veggies
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Posted at 7:39 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 18:38:03-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Trump administration plans to lighten regulations on fruits and vegetables for school meals.

St. Lucie West K-8 School student Amira Suggs loves going through the lunch line at school. She said someone always checks out her tray to make sure she's eating well.

"They make sure I'm not eating too much, and I'm eating enough and eating healthy at the same time," said Amira.

"Currently we have to offer a lot of fruits and vegetables every single day," said Deborah Wuest, the director of child nutrition services for St. Lucie Schools.

New proposed rules will allow schools to cut the amount of fruits and vegetables that were required to be served under the previous guidelines championed by former first lady Michelle Obama.

"The only change that is going to happen is that the student is not required to take that fruit or vegetable, so it actually allows us to have some flexibility," said Wuest. "We've had an increase in expenses since the students are required to take that fruit or vegetable."

One of the ways cafeteria workers try to encourage kids to eat healthy is by placing some of the healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, at the front of the lunch line. They also have baskets of fruits and vegetables at the checkout.

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Wuest said that's not something that is going to change under the new proposal.

"As they come through the serving line, we have trained employees," she said. "They will view the tray, does it meet all of the requirements?"

Wuest said ongoing education on healthy eating will inspire students to continue to choose healthy options. She said they will still offer fruits and vegetables for consumption.

"The great thing is, the new proposal to roll back some of the guidelines will allow students to make choices," said West.