Starting this year, the Anchorage School District will begin serving more after-school meals to students in special at-risk student programs, but now some district leaders are questioning how healthy those meals are.
Some of those meals include chicken salad, applesauce and milk. Others include cheese with pepperoni flavored beef sticks and fruit punch.
This week, some school board members raised concerns that those prepackaged meals weren't very healthy.
With milk, some of those meals amount to as much as 57 grams of sugar, but the district says a lot of that sugar is naturally occuring in things like milk, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"Once we actually get them and you take a look at them, I think people are going to be surprised," said LaDonna Dean, an ASD nutritionist. "They're a lot better than what people are giving them credit for right now."
Still, some on the school board say they're in a Catch-22, because they need to meet federal student nutrition guidelines, while living in a place that makes it more difficult and more costly to do that.
"In Alaska its even more difficult logistically, because we're far away with things being shipped here, and we don't have the same availability of fresh fruits and vegetables that other states may have," said Jeannie Mackie, school board president.
The district says 12 schools will be serving the boxed meals this year.