With controversy swirling over childhood obesity, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial soda ban initiative, and the quality of meals being served in our public schools, one school in Flushing Queens, New York took matters into their own hands in an attempt to improve their students’ nutrition. They recently adopted an all-vegetarian school cafeteria, and they’re believed to be the only such school in the U.S.
The school administration decided to make the change after watching for a period of time what the children brought from home and ordered for lunch. They observed that there were a large number of students eating non-meat meals, as many of the school’s 70 percent Asian and Indian population are vegetarians. They started gradually by slowly cutting back on the number of days that they served meat. When they found that the all-vegetarian options were warmly received, they decided to make the switch to meatless, aided by the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.
Now, instead of eating school lunch staples like chicken nuggets, the 400 pre-k through third graders at P.S. 244 are enjoying healthier options, like braised black beans and plantains, tofu roasted in Asian sesame sauce, falafel with cucumber salad, tofu vegetable wraps, vegetarian chili with brown rice, and black bean and cheddar quesadillas served with salsa and red roasted potatoes.
Breakfast is also served in the school, offering the children options like bagels and cream cheese, whole-grain banana bread, and egg and cheese roll-ups.
What’s more, each of these vegetarian meals meets the same mandatory USDA protein requirements as the non-vegetarian meals served in the other public schools.
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Sources: foxnews.com and nbcnews.com