Is your student getting a healthy lunch? - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Onalaska, WI

Is your student getting a healthy lunch?


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Are your children getting a healthy lunch at school?

Today lunch staff had a special guest, the number two official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the school lunch program.

Nancy Johner toured the k-12 schools in Onalaska to taste what's on the menu.

She met with students and staff to talk about the importance of eating healthy.

But its not always that easy, especially when your cooking for students by the thousands.

If you are a student eating at Onalaska High School you'll have plenty of options.

It's a USDA requirement.

"We have to have fluid milk, protein, bread or grain, fruit, and vegetables," says Katie Wilson, the Director of Nutrition for Onalaska schools.

The high school has four lunch stations, each with numerous options.

It's an attempt for students to find something healthy that they enjoy.

The under secretary tried a little bit of everything.

"I'm making sure kids like this and making sure there is not a lot of fat, sugar and sodium," says Nancy Montanex Johner.

One of the most important parts of a school lunch is taste.

Today students could taste test some new items.

From egg rolls to orange chicken, the one that tasted the best and scored the highest could be on a new menu.

"It has to taste good and have eye appeal and be nutritious," says Wilson.

SNAC, the Student Nutrition Advisory Council, sampled some of the new items with the under secretary.

They know first hand the importance of eating a healthy meal during lunch hour.

"When you take a test you don't want to be thinking about what you ate for lunch. You want one hundred percent thinking on academics," says SNAC member Amy Yin.

Cleaning your plate has more benefits than just filling your stomach, that's the lesson they're trying to teach today.

"If we as a school teach students to make healthy choices, it doesn't matter if they eat here or if they eat out; they will make good choices because they know what the best benefits are from certain foods," says Yin.

That lesson is something students will take with them far after graduation.

Reporter -- Shelby Cloke

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