Va. Schools Hungry to Get More Out of Lunch

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When diners at an exclusive food tasting recently noshed on sesame green beans and flame-roasted redskin potatoes, they weren’t celebrating at the area’s newest culinary hot spot.

Instead, these gourmands were huddled in a high school cafeteria sampling almost 40 delicacies that soon could become permanent items for thousands of children who eat lunch and breakfast in this northern Virginia school district each day.

The annual tasting show, a popular event to showcase new foods and collect input from students, parents and school staff, has taken on added significance after the approval last year of new U.S. Agriculture Department nutrition standards. School districts now must limit the calories that students consume, phase in whole grains, gradually lower sodium levels, and offer at least one fruit or vegetable per meal, among other requirements.

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