The school year has begun and children throughout the KMC are getting healthier choices to eat for lunch.
The Healthy Kids Lunch Initiative started several years ago when first lady Michelle Obama came up with the campaign to curb childhood obesity. The idea is to have schools offer healthier choices of foods for lunches.
“There are so many children that don’t eat good, healthy food at home,” said Capt. Diane Ryan, school food service dietitian. “Our hope and idea is to introduce healthy choices for these children.”
The healthier choices can be a big change from something the children were used to. There are children who are now giving their ideas for what they want to see more of so it can be incorporated into the meal
“We have a binder full of healthy choice recipes we can make,” said Johnnie Williams, Vogelweh Elementary School cafeteria crew leader. “We have a recipe for just about everything. From my experience, a lot of the kids like the new menu.”
All food prepared is baked; nothing is put into deep fryers. The bread is 100 percent whole grain and the cafeterias offer more fresh fruit and vegetables depending on the season.
“It’s about the children having healthier choices,” Ryan said. “We don’t like to teach children about ‘healthy versus unhealthy’ because really, it is all about portions.”
Through the Healthy Kids Lunch Initiative, the parents learn as well, Ryan said. The children are able to do taste tests and to speak about what they like and what they don’t like.
“Making the healthy choice foods doesn’t take any more work than making chicken nuggets,” Williams said. “This is the first place kids learn how to eat healthy, so it’s important that we help them and teach them what is good for their bodies.”