As part of a nationwide effort to push healthy eating to the forefront of the American consciousness, the Chillicothe R-2 School District is doing its fair shake, implementing changes to its cafeteria menus and vending machines.
Chillicothe R-2 Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes said the district has upped the number of fruit and vegetable offerings provided within their lunchtime menus, while decreasing weekly starch intake servings across the board. Bread products that the district uses are moving entirely to whole grain variety, with expected final enactment set for fiscal year 2014.
In regards to vending machines, the district will be working with their outside vendors to provide persons purchasing via this method the caloric content of their snack and drink items of choice. It is believed that, by doing so, students and teachers might decide upon healthier snacking opportunities.
"It will be our responsibility to see that the caloric information is obtained, but the vendor's responsibility to get it posted," Barnes said. These numbers are expected to be posted clearly on each of the district's vending machines.
"The High School and [Grand River Technical School] will have the most [machines to change], and yet, it is not many," said Barnes. "Elementary schools may, or may not, have [a machine] for their teacher workrooms. We have a break area at GRTS for students, primarily used by the three-hour block courses. We try to assimilate a job site approach with our technical school students.
"I do not believe posting the information on the vending machine will cause a difference in purchasing habits," Barnes said. "But then, that is just my opinion. However, having the information available can help an individual become more informed."