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Milwaukee Public Schools now offering students healthier meal options free of artificial ingredients

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza -- those are some of kids' favorite foods, but aren't always the healthiest options. Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is looking to change that by offering students food that's free of what they call the "harmful seven ingredients." 

Cafeterias will now offer students food that isn't highly processed and free of artificial ingredients. MPS says they're ready to serve kids the meals they deserve. 

"We need to help fuel them for success," said MPS Superintendent Keith Posley.

MPS partnered with The Lifetime Foundation to offer students healthier menu options free of unwanted ingredients. 

"We want them to be well-nourished, and well-fed, and ready for an active day of learning," said Posley.

The new initiative will revamp 16 million meals served in 159 schools across Milwaukee. They're working to remove ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, and processed sweeteners. 

"The general thought process there is that it costs more to feed kids the food they deserve and the reality is it's less complicated than that. It's about collectively coming together with the schools and saying our kids deserve differently," said Jason Thunstrom, VP of Corporate Communications for the Lifetime Foundation.

Experts say processed and artificial foods can negatively impact children's health, causing diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. 

MPS says this is just one step they're taking in teaching children you are what you eat. 

Parents CBS 58 spoke with say they're glad MPS is helping educate their children in ways far beyond the classroom. 

This will be a three-year partnership between The Lifetime Foundation and MPS. 

MPS' Department of Nutrition Services has already removed two of the harmful seven ingredients and will be working to remove the last five in the coming weeks. 

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