Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 8:17 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 8:16 PM EST
SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTNH) -- Higher standards for school lunch programs went into effect at the beginning of the school year. On Wednesday, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro visited one school to see how students are handling the healthier choices.
DeLauro had lunch with sixth graders at Seymour Middle School. The school is a leader in implementing the Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010.
"We had known this was going to be happening in one way or another. We didn't know the full effect of it but what I did a couple of years ago was I started making the changes slowly," said Cindy Brooks the Food Service Director.
Healthy food choices include wraps, salads, yogurts, whole wheat rolls, and premium deli products. There are still the staples like chicken fingers and pizza, but all meals come with fresh vegetables.
Any student buying lunch is required to have either a fruit or vegetable on their tray. School officials say at first, kids were hesitant, but now they're all on board.
"If you were here back in September or October, you would have seen a totally different scenario, somewhat. We were, students and staff were both becoming familiar with the new regulations," said Brooks.
DeLauro has been an advocate for healthier lunches in schools. She says giving kids options is key to success.
"We also wanna make sure that they are, in addition to deriving the nutritional value, but also enjoying the food that they are eating," said DeLauro.
And enjoy it they do. Brooks says at first there was a ten percent drop in the number of kids buying each day. But, now the numbers are back to normal and she hopes more kids will get on the nutrition band wagon.
"I try to buy everyday and it's my favorite. I love the deli," said sixth grader Meghan Brett.
"I buy lunch everyday. It's actually real good. I usually like the sandwiches," said sixth grader Roy Parrotte.
"So, what do you put on your sandwiches," asked News 8's Jacquie Slater.
"Lettuce, tomaoes, onions, pickles, usually olives," said Parrotte.
One look around the lunch room and you can see that many students agree.
"And these are happy kids enjoying their lunch and not throwing food away and I'm just delighted to be here with them," said DeLauro.