135 school cooks from 7 area counties gathered today to learn about changes being made to their school menus.
Legislation from the state of Ohio, Senate Bill 210, will affect what items can be sold through bake sales during school hours, and vending machine options. It also mandates that a la carte items include healthier foods. Public Health Nurse, Chris Drake, says the bill’s intention is to help with the national obesity epidemic.
"They will be asked to start serving more fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. There will be a change in the milk that is allowed to be served, it will need to be either 1% or fat free milk." she says.
In order to help school cooks and food service directors transition better, the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department held a school cooks conference this afternoon at Zanesville High School.
"It’s going to be a change in culture in the schools, so it’s going to take some time for them to research, especially with fundraising, but I think that through working with us and other agencies we can come up with some alternatives." said School Health Educator, Kris Bell.
Both Drake and Bell hope those in attendance walked away with information to help them implement changes in their kitchens without feeling overwhelmed. Changes in the bill are set to take place July 1st.