As kids return to class fro the 2013-2014 school year, attention in many schools is being focused more than ever on what is available not just in the classroom, but also in the school cafeteria, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Long gone is the 'chef's surprise' and 'peanut butter sandwich Thursdays,' and in its place is a wide variety of healthy offerings which are supplied not just to cut down on childhood obesity, but also in response to the demands of parents and even students.
Cynthia Barton with the Northside ISD says parents come to her all the time to demand that school cafeteria food include healthy ingredients.
"Once again I explain to them, this is whole grain, that is whole grain, this is whole grain too," she said.
"The rice is whole grain, the enchiladas are whole grain, the meat is 84-16, and it is lean."
Barton and other school cafeteria official say more and more, students are also demanding salads and other healthy foods. It is not unusual for nine and ten year old to tell her that they are 'vegans' and can eat only the food that grows from the ground or falls off trees.
"We are getting away from the old canned beans that are grey and are really ugly looking," she said. "We are going to the real pretty fresh green beans."
The key, cafeteria officials say, is to make sure kids eat well, but don't make the food so hard core that students will run across the street to the nearest McDonalds, which would defeat the purpose of offering all of those healthy choices.
Every school district in the area says it now offers healthy choices, including salad bars, soups, and grains as part of their every day school lunch and breakfast.