LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - TheDepartment of Agriculture has changed its school lunch requirements to allow more meats and grains under pressure from lawmakers.

School districts here in Arkansas said they hope it will encourage more children to eat lunch at school. Dieticians here in the Natural State say getting children to eat healthy is often a challenge.

"A lot of kids are picky eaters," said Tonya Johnson, a dietician with UAMS.

Johnson said while meats offer protein, there is a need for caution.

"You have to choose lean cuts of protein," she said.

She said unrefined grains, portion control,and the way foods are prepared are a healthy options. The dietician said meats and grains are more filling.

The federal government offered incentive to districts who follow the new guidelines.

The departmentmade temporarily modifications to the requirements for the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information on the modifications please visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Policy-Memos/2013/SP11-2013os.pdf

Follow Daniel on Twitter @dan_wilkerson.

Read or Share this story: http://on.kthv.com/NMFi57