Healthy school food carries hefty price tag - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Healthy school food carries hefty price tag

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

New federal rules for school food are expected to cost millions of dollars. The Department of Agriculture wants more whole grains, fruits and veggies added to school menus. But, as obesity runs rampant in our country, trying to add healthier food choice isn't cheap.

As a parent, Alisha Warren says she applauds the federal changes to lunch menus, but knows eating healthy comes with a price tag.

"It's very expensive to eat healthy cause a bag of grapes cost like $5, plums $2.99 a pound. It's very expensive to eat," she says.

The new proposal is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The price tag is sitting at $127-million.

Parent Joe Millner says, "If they're accustomed to eating junk all of the time, it's a hard habit to change, but in order to be heart healthy and just healthy overall you have to make the choices for them."

At the heart of the issue is the cost. An apple goes for $3.99 a pound. But, you can get two apple pies for $1. The junk food makes financial sense for a lot of families.

Millner says financially it may be a tough apple to chew, but it's time to do what's best for our children, "I think down the line it could be cost effective, but again it comes down to smart planning and doing the right thing for the children."

The USDA is taking comments about the changes to food and drink through April 9.

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