Board Approves Healthier Snacks In Schools

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Your school's vending machine could soon get a makeover.

The Kansas State Board of Education Tuesday discussed a new federal rule that will provide healthier snack and food options for students.

Some Kansas schools have already taken steps to provide healthier options, but starting July 2014, all schools nation wide will have to meet these requirements.

From Sun Chips and granola bars to strawberry milk, Topeka students have a number of snack choices in school vending machines.

"I got some Cheez-its!" cheers a Topeka student.

But, starting in July 2014, the USDA will require all food sold in schools participating in the National School Lunch program to meet healthy snack requirements, including items sold in school lunches and in school vending machines.

"Do you want vegetables with that?" says a cafeteria lady to a Topeka student.

"There will be fruits and vegetables and whole grains. There will still be snack items, but they will be 200 calories or less," says Director of Children's Nutrition and Wellness, Cheryl Johnson.

"We're not seeing the candy bars, the candy, the chocolate, instead you are seeing healthy chips," says Associate Principal at Topeka High School, Rob Hays.

Officials say they hope the changes will start students on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

"Hopefully, it helps kids make better choices overall with their diet, with nutrition," says Hays.

"To help students learn how to combat obesity because obesity, of course, leads to a lot of chronic disease risks as we get older," says Johnson.

The federal rule exempts food sold at school activity concession sales and events such as bake sales.


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