Healthy Vending Hits Eau Claire Middle Schools

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Area schools are responding to the nationwide obesity trend by cutting portion sizes and offering healthier meal options.

Vending machines have been added to South and Delong Middle Schools in Eau Claire and are offering healthy choices.

Candy bars and cookies have been replaced with baked chips, granola bars, and fruit snacks.

District officials say they are trying out different options to find what kids like best, but also say students won't have a bad snack option.

"The food and nutrition program recognize that young children need calories to maintain their active lifestyle," says District Nutrition Director Mary Jo Tuckwell. "But we also want those calories to be nutrient dense calories, so they're getting good nutrition along with the energy."

Tuckwell reports that on the first day of school, $20 was deposited into the machine.