USDA’s MyPlate recommends children eat three and a half cups of fruits and vegetables daily, and the fresher they are, the more nutrients they contain. HISD Nutrition Services is offering healthier choices for students by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to school menus.
“We want to offer more varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables to get the students excited about eating healthy foods at school,” said HISD Dietitian Amanda Oceguera. “It was rewarding to see the students’ positive reactions to our Texas-grown watermelon, and we plan to continue offering more items like it.”
HISD now offers five salads as main entrees and seven as sides, including Asian chicken, spinach and tomato, romaine, and Southwestern, making options at lunch more diverse and healthier. The new menu entrees have been designed to be a balanced combination of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and flavors that students enjoy.
Salads and sides like jicama and watermelon help maximize the students’ nutrient and fiber intake. “Better nutrition is important for students’ health and development, but it also improves their academic performance,” said Dietitian Nan Cramer. “By offering fresh appealing fruit and vegetable choices, we help fulfill the USDA’s recommendations.”
“I love watermelon because is so sweet and juicy,” said Paige Elementary School student Christian Pacheco. “I wish I could have watermelon every day.”
HISD students are becoming more aware of the importance of what they eat at lunch, and Nutrition Services is helping them reach their nutritional goals by providing healthy meals that taste great.