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New School Lunch Menus Get Mixed Grades in Watertown Schools

Massachusetts' new school nutrition guidelines limit the amount of food and what can be served. Some see the elimination of chocolate milk as a good step while others were irked.

The menus at the cafeterias in the Watertown Public Schools have a new look - with healthier offerings - but the changes are not getting passing grades from all.

In June, state school officials released the new nutritional guidelines for Massachusetts' public schools, which stress more whole-grains, fruits and vegetables and less sugar. As a result, the portion sizes are down and gone are items such as chocolate milk and sweetened fruit juices.

Watertown Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald said she went to the high school cafeteria and noticed that the portions are indeed smaller. She noticed a loophole in the system, however.

"Portions are regulated, portions are smaller, but you can buy two portions," Fitzgerald said. "If you are a big, growing football player you can go back and buy a second meal."

Flavored milk with sweetening can no longer be served in schools, and the reaction from parents has been split, Fitzgerald said. 

"Half like it and half don't," Fitzgerald said. "Some are glad their children are not drinking chocolate milk, but others say at least my kids were drinking milk even if it was chocolate milk."

What do your children think about the new lunches in Watertown schools? Is the move toward healthier eating the right one or is this too control by the state? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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