School lunch dilema

School districts across the nation are facing a difficult choice. Raise school lunch prices or offer fewer, less savory and less healthy options.

Given that schools are already taking a loss on each lunch served the outcome may be one of the first roll backs on the effort to stem the childhood obesity crisis.

While it costs about $3 to produce a school lunch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays districts $2.40 for meals eaten by children who are eligible for free lunches. For students who pay full price (unsubsidized), the average price nationwide for meals is $1.80.

School districts have touted the changes made to school meals, physical education programs and nutrition education since the 2004 federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act compelled them to implement wellness policies.

Florida district's Broward and Miami-Dade have cut artery-clogging trans fats from meals. Broward cut calories so much they were serving too few for the federal government's liking.

Broward's version of the policy reads, `the school cafeteria serves as learning laboratory to teach and practice good nutrition.''

The next test of our commitment in the childhood obesity battle will be to see how districts react to this dilema.

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