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For the first time in over a decade, stricter health regulations have pushed schools to offer healthier lunch choices for students. Options will include more servings of fruit and vegetables and overall less saturated fat content. Many school systems are also increasing the number of dishes that incorporate vegetarian and whole grain options.

The recent government regulations are a result of the increasing obesity epidemic affecting school age children in the U.S. With one-third of all students aged 2 to 19 overweight or obese, school systems and health officials are targeting the sources of student meals and ensuring that students have every possible opportunity to eat healthy.

The move toward healthier lunches follows a ban on soda and vending machines that supply sugary and fatty foods. Schools have been scrambling to create educational programs encouraging students to make healthier food choices while making the switch to healthy foods as appealing as possible. Every effort is being made to include the most visually appealing and tasty dishes to promote both the school lunch program and overall healthy lifestyles. Read the full USA Today Article