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Healthy Menu: Third Graders Create New School Lunch Meals
WYOMING, Ohio (WKRC) -- Third graders at Vermont Primary School in Wyoming are taking their school lunch taking their school lunch menu to a new level.
Adam Beard has taught with Wyoming City Schools for 10 years. He's one of the teachers behind the project.
"The kids looked at all of these different lunch menu items, and they decided hey, we can make these better. Let's find ways to either make it healthier, find a way to make it taste better, or find a way to make it a little more kid friendly."
And Beard explains the healthy portion of this was key.
"It can't be all Oreo cookies, you've got a fat content requirement, a calorie requirement, and so they had to work within some pretty strict confines."
Caitlin Steininger is a local celebrity chef from "Cooking with Caitlin." She helped the students come up with ways to make the food taste good. She said they were really enthusiastic.
"I would say, well you could substitute oil for mashed bananas or things like that and then I threw out the word quinoa and the crowd went wild. It was fun because they don't know and they were interested and want to know."
Some of the meals included turkey instead of beef, oatmeal pancakes, eggplant, and even zucchini and couscous! While it might come as a shock, these third graders really liked these ingredients.
Ava Yunker is one of those third graders and she says kids need to try things before they say they don't like them.
"It looks good and I like squash."
"It's healthier and it has more vitamins and minerals."
Teachers say the project had kids problem solving, using math, science, writing, and technology while still having fun.
"They love it. In the past you know they may have opened up a health book and read about protein, and read about food, and now they are creating food. And when you give a kid a chance to create rather than just learn from a book it s amazing what you get."
Now that all the hard work is over and the taste testing is finished, everyone will fill out a ballot and if any of these recipes are lucky enough they could end up on the school cafeteria menu.
The students said they had a lot of help with the cooking portion of the project from their parents and at least some of them now say they are more excited to help with dinner at home.