Health

Mukwonago High School Students Boycott Healthy Lunches

| by Michael Allen

Students at Mukwonago High School in Mukwonago, Wisconsin boycotted cafeteria food this week to protest new federal guidelines for school lunches. Middle schoolers in the district also boycotted their school lunches, which are healthier than last year's food.

The new federal guidelines require public schools to serve more whole grains, only low-fat or nonfat milk, fruits and vegetables, and fewer sugary and salty items. Federal funds for school lunches also mandate age-aligned calorie maximums.

The rules are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 promoted by Michelle Obama and use the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The sub sandwich line at Mukwonago High School used to let students pile vegetables on a six-inch bread bun. However, now the food is limited to a fist-sized whole wheat roll or multigrain wrap. A super nacho plate offers just eight tortilla chips.

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There is also a 10-cent price hike on lunches because the USDA, which oversees the National School Lunch Program, forced many school districts to raise full-price lunches closer to the $2.86 it reimburses for students who qualify for free lunches.

Kids say the lunches are smaller, taste worse and are more expensive.