Although the school staff began to notice that more and more children were bringing vegetarian home-packed lunches, and adjusted their menu to adapt to a healthier standard lunch menu with less and less meat, it was was not until January that it did away permanently with serving any meat in their menus.
The typical public school lunch menus seem to always be under scrutiny with their chicken nuggets, pizza, and other “processed” type foods. However, Flushing’s Elementary School now offers an array of healthy vegetarian options such as tofu, black bean quesadillas, brown rice, roasted red-skinned potatoes, and falafel. The vegetarian menu has been such a hit- that many students are requesting the same types of foods at home.
Bob Groff, Principal of the School who also co-founded the school in 2008 has told ABC news in reports that the school was founded and based upon teaching the students on making healthy and nutritious choices that would fuel them to soar in their academic achievements.
In addition Principal Groff also stated that:
“There has been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it’s about what is the healthiest option for them,” Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is happening and believe in what we’re doing too.”
In order to combat childhood obesity, school cafeterias have been scrutinized for what they serve on their menus. It is a given that providing encouragement to children to establish healthy and wise eating habits is one of the largest steps to win this battle that is quickly becoming an epidemic. Besides fighting childhood obesity, there are other health risks to a diet with meat in it. Statistics demonstrate that more than half the meat that is available on the market is tainted with harmful bacteria.
From the beginning, Flushing 244 has served at least 3 vegetarian meals per week. It was the first of the district to try this “vegetarian menu.” And…from the great response to it, it was not difficult to break into the full-on vegetarian menu which still adheres to the USDA”S school lunch standards of protein and essential nutrients from the balanced food groups on the pyramid.