Monday kickoff: Queens school goes 100% vegetarian
Remember when students, school officials, and many others went nuts last year, after the new school food rules went into effect?
Pushed by First Lady Michelle Obama, the USDA school food guidelines cut calories, salt, and fat content in the lunch line, and added healthier options, including more fruits and vegetables. Critics said the program made too much change at once, schools and children needed a more gradual shift.
Students at Yorkshire Elementary School in Manassas, VA on Sept. 7, 2012, after the new school rules went into effect. Photo: Lance Cheung: US Department of Agriculture, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
That's what they did at the Active Learning Elementary School, in Flushing, NYC, and now the school is getting international attention for its healthy, all vegetarian menu.
Here's a look at what they serve, from the NY Daily News:
Whole-grain sunrise carrot bread with hot cereal choice
Fluffy egg omelet with melted cheese in a New York-style bagel
Waffles with warm syrup and
mozzarella string cheese
Black bean and cheddar quesadilla served with salsa, red roasted
potatoes and broccoli
Roasted organic tofu with cacciatore sauce, whole-grain pasta and roasted zucchini
“Superhero” spinach wrap with cucumber salad
Chickpea falafel in a soft wheat wrap with chopped romaine, fresh diced tomatoes and cucumber salad
Source: City Department of Education
The school didn't force healthy food, the kids chose it
When the school opened in 2008, it began offering a vegetarian lunch three times a week. Principal Robert Groff says the kids were gravitating toward the veg options, so they increased it to four times a week to meet the demand. Now they're 100-percent vegetarian.
In a press release, Groff gushes, “We created PS 244 based on a principle of a healthy lifestyle and academic achievement…The vegetarian menu fits right in with our mission and we are thrilled that our students in Pre-Kindergarten all the way up to Grade 3 understand the importance of healthy and nutritious meals.”
Tags: food, mondaykickoff, school food, usda, vegetables