PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Many parents want to make sure their child is well fed at home, but there is a program in place to make sure children have a balanced healthy meal at school.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a national nutrition standard that implements not only free lunches, but ensures children get a balanced meal.
Petal School District Food Administrator Daniel Dillistone said the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has been in place since 2010 at Petal Primary.
"It's been a nice balancing act," Dillistone said. "We went from not having high restrictions as far as calorie intake and things like that to having some more restrictive calorie intake."
As a cafeteria worker since 1999, Tiffany Bradley said the food has changed drastically since the act went into effect.
"It's a lot healthier, we can't use much butter or as much salt as we used to," Bradley said.
Head Cook Connie Bass said, "We served a lot more white breads than wheat. Now we went to wheat. The meats, we do not fry meats here. We bake or broil."
Dillistone said the initiative has been successful, but there have been some challenges.
"We do have a little more waste because we have to make them take fruits and vegetables, which they don't sometimes want to eat," Dillistone said.
The Petal School District provides about million types of meals throughout the year.