School officials want children to eat more fruit and fewer french fries, but the fruit costs more and that's causing problems for child-nutrition programs statewide.
School lunches already have to meet federal nutrition standards, but the more popular a la carte items don't. That's changing as school districts replace fruit drinks with 100 percent juice drinks. Officials tell the Winston-Salem Journal that as a result, profit is shrinking.
Officials say child-nutrition programs also have to pay for state-mandated salary increases, and the cost of fuel has increased as well. As school officials replace a la carte items, such as french fries, with healthier options, sales decline.
In 2005, a pilot program for the nutrition standards was started in 124 elementary schools in seven school systems. None of the schools could meet the nutrition standards and lost more than $330,000 in just five months.