MPS implementing new federal school lunch regulations

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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Public School District is getting ready to implement new federal regulations this school year that include providing healthier options in school lunches.

MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia says 54,000 lunches are served within the MPS system each school day, and 83% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

This school year, the district must comply with new federal regulations, including: fat free flavored milk, maximum calorie and sodium limits and the elimination of trans fats.

"The meals that we're serving are already meeting a majority of these standards, and in the not-too-distant future, they'll be meeting all of these standards," Tagliavia said.

Some of the new standards, like including larger portions of daily, natural fruit are already in place at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning.

"A lot of us might be surprised by what kids would actually like to eat. We might think that they don't want to eat healthy food, but I think -- especially once it's presented to them on a regular basis, they might come to like it more than we think," Tagliavia said.

Tagliavia told FOX6 News consumption will be monitored.

"We would be concerned and would want to address it if there were a large number of students who just weren't eating the food that we're serving," Tagliavia said.

The cost of school lunches within MPS has increased 10 cents due to these new federal regulations. There is an October deadline for meeting the new standards in order for MPS to qualify for some federal reimbursement of the implementation.

CLICK HERE for additional information on school lunch regulations via the USDA's website.