California Watch: K–12: School lunches missing the mark for nutrition standards

Eleanor Yang Su

In fall 2008, state regulators began a routine analysis of the school lunches served in Wheatland, a rural community an hour north of Sacramento.

Reviewers found typical cafeteria fare – chicken nuggets, hamburgers, spaghetti with breadsticks and a salad bar. But the nutritional levels were among the worst in the state, raising red flags for high fat content, low fiber and excessive sodium.

Federal regulations limited fat to 30 percent of lunch calories, but some Wheatland School District students received meals that had 51 percent of their calories from fat and contained more than 50 grams of fat.

Wheatland officials say they have since made improvements, but their struggles and violations are part of a larger problem. Hundreds of school districts have fed children fattening, salty and nutritionally deficient meals and face infrequent oversight.

via School lunches missing the mark for nutrition standards.

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