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Is your child eating a healthy school lunch?

March 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, leaving many to look for changes in school nutrition. Food Coach Lori Corbin reports on what experts are cooking up in order to help make lunch a meal worth eating.From the first lady to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, advocates say school lunches should replace junk food with nutritious food.

One Chicago teacher went undercover and ate the $3 school lunch daily and blogged about it.

"If you look at some of the meals, there's a lot of like sugar and carbs in there," said Mrs. Q, undercover teacher.

Known only as Mrs. Q, her blogging began in January with plans to do it for the whole school year. She says she started her blog because 70 percent of her school's kids, like 31 million kids in America, are on the free lunch program. For many it represents half of their daily calories.

"This is potentially their best meal of the whole day," said Mrs. Q.

Her findings shocked parents.

"What we are giving them, they're throwing away," said Mrs. Q.

Most of the vegetables go straight into the trash, which is why hot dogs and pizza are popular as kids will eat those. But even though their palates might lack sophistication offering a better variety, even salad could taste good.

At most schools, food is no longer cooked on sight, but rather its frozen food reheated.

Oliver's hopes his new show, "Food Revolution" will instill some energy into better eating -- something he successfully did in Britain.

"We got new regulations made, which were very much required," said Oliver. "And we got the rubbish out of the vending machines."

Yesterday the Senate Agriculture Committee approved legislation that would allow the Agriculture Department to create uniform standards for all foods in schools, including vending machines.

In addition, Whole Foods Market and many smaller companies are trying to get into the school catering business in an attempt to show food can be good tasting and good for you.