School lunches in the dumps

School lunch. (WDTN Photo)

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Food guidelines for school cafeterias have changed over the years and kids are telling you what they think of them. In fact, some of our toughest food critics are sitting at our kitchen tables every day.

The food guidelines brought about by First Lady Michelle Obama are meeting some tough examination by kids – and that scrutiny is sending millions of dollars worth of fruits and veggies to school trash cans.

Nutritionists in the Kettering School District incorporate vegetables to the menu by making vegetable soup.

Louise Easterly, district nutritionist says, newer mandates mean students now have to take a fruit or veggie – before it was an option – that’s when they could choose to take it or not.

The National School Nutrition Association reports students across the country are saying “no” to the newer government issued fruit and vegetable standards, sending food groups to the trash, costing millions of dollars in wasted school lunches, creating mounds of nutritious garbage.

In a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 60 percent of fresh veggies and 40 percent of fresh fruit are being thrown away by students in school cafeterias.

In the United States, research shows $4 million a day in school lunchroom food waste. It also shows some districts are dropping the food lunch program because more kids are deciding to pack food from home. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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