At the school where I teach, there is a sign at the beginning of the lunch line that they must have certain items on their plate. No leaving it off if you aren't going to eat it. But, if the child is on free/reduced lunch, s/he won't have the $$ to buy a second lunch, and the program does not allow for a child to get a second lunch. So there's that option out. For the salad, I think the PP was referring to having the Caesar salad as an entree. A lot of schools serve a side salad with the entree. It's probably more than just the protein count for a Caesar salad, but I'll get into that in a minute... For the seasonings, they are limited in their choices. We had a workshop session during inservice in which the head of our nutrition program spoke to all of us about the changes. (Small groups, about an hour.) Previously, the schools had a minimum calorie goal to reach. If you went over, great, but you had to reach that minimum. Now, it's a window. And it was like 450-550 calories for ES, 550-650 for MS, and 650-750 for HS (and it may be another 100 calories up on each of those. I don't have my notes with me. But, even then, max caloric intake for a day's lunch is 850 for the older kids). There are so many goals/restrictions. There are only so many starches that can be served, so some elementary schools have to compensate by serving open-faced sandwiches, or they can't give the kids bread one day. All whole wheat products, too. No white potatoes, no white rice, no white bread, no white pasta. Certain number of times per week that fruits/veggies of certain colors must be served. Nothing fried. No ketchup (or it's limited to 1 packet because of the salt content). Sodium content of a patient in kidney failure. The humor in this? 1. Calorie content is based on GRADE, not AGE. We are a 7-12 school. Our 7th/8th graders now must have their own lunch so the proper portions can be served. We have a few (I can think of at least 5, off the top of my head) who are 15 or 16 and in 7th or 8th grade. But, as they are 7th/8th graders, they must eat the smaller portion. (We joked at inservice that if those kids found out and complained, then we could say that if they wanted more food, they'd have to pass.) We've also had a 15 year old come up from the elementary school. Can you imagine being 14/15 and having to eat the ES portions? (And please don't turn this into a "wow, your district must just have horrible teachers...these kids have no home life and very little, if any, motivation at home to succeed. One failure through the years can cause one to just stall out, and it doesn't matter how much, sometimes, that you talk, encourage, beg, bribe, whatever to pass. I have had kids over the years who were raised by grandparents because mom and dad both were in prison from drug charges, or live with mom and she works overnights, leaving for work when the kids come home and getting home when the kids leave...and that's just the tip of the iceberg, there.) 2. There are no regulations on breakfast, yet. So they can still have rice crispy treat, or breakfast pizza, or whatever, an call it breakfast. Tell me: in what world is a rice crispy treat, honey bun, or pop tart a filling breakfast?' 3. All this stuff may be healthier, but they aren't used to eating it. It will probably go over better overall with the younger kids, and will be great for them to grow up with the healthier things, and might help them make healthier choices when they are older because they will be used to it. Older kids, though? My own child? I fix her lunch and send it with her. At least I know she'll eat it.