DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of foodies from across the country are in Denver this week. They’re crowding the Colorado Convention Center sampling healthy new options to decide what to serve in their school cafeterias.
Come this fall schools need to meet the new federal nutrition standards. The Convention Center is hosting the School Nutrition Conference. All the nation’s school nutrition directors get to see what’s cookin’ in children’s meals.
This year nutrition directors are all sticklers for nutrition. New USDA standards require more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. The regulations reduce fat and sodium, but familiar brands want to stay in schools.
“Manufacturers know that if they’re going to succeed in school lunch they’re going to have to step up their game also,” one convention attendee said.
White House Chef Sam Kass with Healthy Food Initiatives chowed down on a healthy veggie wrap and then credited first lady Michelle Obama with helping overhaul what children eat.
“We’re seeing the country really unite and we have a long way to go, but I’m really hopeful about the fact we’re going to look back on this time and see we really changed course,” Kass said.
All agree the biggest challenge is keeping kids interested.
Denver Public Schools will put salad bars in every school this fall. They’ll be lowering the sugar and sodium and adding spices to give foods better flavor.