Giving students more say in choosing school-meal items before they go on the menu supports student participation in meal programs, said Luanne Hughes, a registered dietitian and an associate professor and science educator at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. She has helped nine New Jersey school districts alter their menus to comply with new, federal standards. Her tips to help make the transition smoother include placing healthy foods near the cash register, presenting them in appealing ways and preparing food with students' preferences in mind.

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