Many Tarrant County students might have been surprised when they first went through the school lunch line this year.A meal of pizza sticks, a banana, raisins and whole milk has given way to whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, a whole wheat roll, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi and low-fat milk.That's because, for the first time in 15 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is overhauling school lunch guidelines. New nutrition standards set calorie limits based on grade level, reduce sodium levels, ban trans fats, allow only nonfat and low-fat milk, require that fruits and vegetables are both offered daily, and substantially increase whole grains.This change will help more than 2.4 million Texas students who receive a free or reduced-price school lunch to lead healthier, more active lives -- in and out of the classroom.These and other changes are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. I applaud the federal government for taking this important step that allows schools to create and reinforce healthy eating habits.Texas has the fifth-highest rate of child food insecurity in the country, and meals served through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program may be the only food these children receive all day.Similar changes will be required for the School Breakfast Program beginning next fall. However, only 56 percent of children who receive free and reduced-price lunch in Texas also participate in the breakfast program.While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, stigma and transportation barriers often keep eligible students from eating a free breakfast at school.The Texas Hunger Initiative, a statewide anti-hunger organization within the Baylor University School of Social Work, is helping school districts across the state increase participation in child nutrition assistance programs.The increased use of innovations such as Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab and Go Breakfast means students no longer need to arrive early and helps reduce the stigma associated with school breakfast.Currently, M.H. Moore Elementary, Glen Park Elementary, A.M. Pate Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary and Dunbar Middle School in Fort Worth, along with schools in the Crowley and Grapevine-Colleyville districts, use these new breakfast models to ensure maximum student participation.The Texas Hunger Initiative also is beginning work with Fort Worth school district nutrition directors and administrators to help implement the new nutrition standards.Through our partnership with Share Our Strength, the nation's largest child anti-hunger organization, we launched the Texas No Kid Hungry campaign last school year and continue our work to ensure that Texas children have consistent access to nutritious meals that will allow them to be successful in life.If you have children who eat school lunch, encourage them to try the fruits, vegetables and other new offerings this year.If your children don't currently eat school lunch, have them give it a try. I bet it will be a pleasant surprise.Jeremy K. Everett is director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, a project of the Baylor University School of Social Work.