It started with banning flavored milk. Now, the nation’s second largest school system is revamping its entire school lunch menu.
Los Angeles Unified School District is is replacing canned fruit and vegetables and with more locally grown produce, and chicken nuggets with restaurant-quality chicken on the bone. The district is negotiating with food suppliers for less processed ingredients, and is trying to be as cost-effective as possible with the changes.
To make sure none of the new meals go to waste, they’re bringing students into their main kitchen near downtown LA to taste-test meals like hummus on whole-wheat pita, Greek salad, and vegetable tamales. Of course, kids will still have access to junk food through school vending machines and an “underground market” of students selling candy bars, but the lunch line is a good place to start.
According to the LA Times, 80% of school lunches are served to students who qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Since these students rely on school meals for much of their nutrition, without improving school food they are more at risk for obesity and other diseases.
To learn more, read the Los Angeles Times article here.