HEALTH

Michelle Obama eats lunch at Parklawn Elementary School

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Turkey tacos and mixed fresh fruit was the food du jour for the First Lady and students at Parklawn Elementary School Wednesday, created by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray served up a meal of turkey tacos and mixed fruit. (Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

Michelle Obama was at the Fairfax County School to announce that big changes are on the way for school lunches.

"When we send our kids to school, we have a right to expect that they won't be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we're trying to keep them from at home," Obama said.

It's the first time in 15 years that changes have been made to school lunch nutritional guidelines. It means federally subsidized meals will now include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, better portion sizes and less sodium.

"You want the food to be fun, you want it to be colorful and certainly you always want it to be balanced and nutritious," Ray said.

The students seemed to enjoy the meal, which also included lowfat or non-fat milk as a healthier choice.

ABC7 spoke to parents who felt that more nutritional meals probably meant improved performance in school by students and in the long run, better eating habits.

"We need to, as parents, step-up and do it as well," said parent Ellisa Simmons. "We need to follow suit and do our part as well in coordination with the schools."

The new rules won't be as aggressive as the Obama administration had hoped.

Congress last year blocked the Agriculture Department from making some of the changes the department had sought, including limiting french fries and pizzas.

A bill passed in November would require USDA to allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now.

Congress also blocked USDA from limiting servings of potatoes to two servings a week.

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