The cost of eating healthy in Roanoke County schools is going up.
"Nobody wants to pay more," says DeAnna Smith. Both of her children are in elementary school.
"At first I packed lunches because I wanted it to be healthier choices, but it is easier and convenient for the school to provide lunch," Smith says.
Starting this year, a federal mandate requires all schools to serve healthier lunches.
So what will your child's lunch look like? It will have two servings of fruits or vegetables, hardly any fried food like French fries, whole grain breads in place of white bread, and some protein, like turkey hot dogs, which are already being served in Roanoke County schools.
"It is healthier, but it's more costly, and that's the biggest thing," says Roanoke County School Nutrition Supervisor Ed Tutle.
Tutle says lunch will go up ten cents.
"Even the dime we went up won't cover the cost," Tutle says. "As an example, an apple runs 30 to 40 cents. Bananas run the same. They were getting one fruit, and now it's an extra 30 to 40 cents on the tray. It can be very expensive."
School leaders say not only will the extra money help cover the cost of food, as the mandate requires, it will also offset the price of free and reduced lunches. Many parents say it is worth every dime.
"If I have to pay more for them to eat better, then I guess that's a choice I am willing to make," Smith says.
We checked with other schools, including Lynchburg, and the cost for their lunches will go up 25 cents.