August 22, 2012

No knoephla soup on school menu?

By Suzanne Werre, BHG News Service

There will be some nation-wide changes to school lunch programs due to new federal requirements for school meals, and that means there will be some major changes at the Washburn School as well. Some of those changes were not received well by the school board members, who doubt they will be received well by the students. The goal of the nation-wide changes is to help get a handle on the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States, an idea which Superintendent Brad Rinas scrutinized. “This notion that the federal program, by changing what we do in school hot lunch programs is going to rid our young people of obesity and make them healthy eaters is pretty far fetched, but that is what we are left to deal with,” said Rinas. “A lot of things kids like, that the staff likes, we can’t even have for them.” A couple of the more popular items that have been regularly on the school’s menu, knoephla soup and chicken tortilla soup, do not fit the federal nutrition guidelines (too much salt). But that’s not to say they won’t ever be on the menu, said Rinas. What will likely happen is that the school will probably have to subsidize those particular meals, since the federal government will not help pay for them.  Rinas said he and head cook Judy Hyttinen will have to figure out how much those particular meals will cost, and the school will have to budget for them.

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