Students Rate Potential Menu Options for School Cafeterias

Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 9:23am

Thursday marked the Region One ESC Food Expo in South Padre Island. For certain Valley students that meant a break from class and a chance to eat some of their favorite foods.

“I liked the pancakes they were awesome,” said a group of La Villa elementary students.

The event allows students from across the Valley to provide feedback on some of the foods they would like to see served at their cafeterias.

“There is a real big push right now for whole grains, dark leafy greens and orange vegetables,” says dietician Lori Ramos. “We are really looking at how we can incorporate those things more into our menus for the schools.”

Ramos, also a coordinator for the event and the South Texas Co-op, says it can be tricky providing students with the nutrition they need and the taste they prefer.

“A lot of the new pizza items they have come out with have whole grain crust and reduced fat cheese but we don't advertise that a lot to the kids because if they probably wouldn't want to eat it.”

But certain kids we spoke to prefer an increased amount of healthy food options at their schools.

“We like healthy because it helps keep our body good and it’s nutritious,” said one group of elementary students.

Over 200 different students from several Region One districts were able to use this product evaluation to form to rate how much they like or dislike certain products.

The student feedback goes a long way in selecting the types of food districts will provide their students.

“The school district can then use that information to determine which products would be best to use in their schools,” says Ramos.

School food personnel from the several Region One districts will evaluate the student recommendations in the coming weeks and can begin providing the newer food items as soon as this spring.

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