Teachers and administrators throughout the Perkiomen Valley School District (PVSD) are taking to the cafeteria this week to offer some new, healthy lunch options to students in celebration of National School Lunch Week.
On Oct. 16, several teachers and administrators were distributing chopped butternut squash to students at Perkiomen Valley Middle School East.
"I've never had butternut squash before," said sixth grader Dan Negro. "I like it," he said.
All six of the boys Patch spoke with liked the idea of trying new vegetables. They preferred Tuesday's squash over Monday's broccoli and raisins - but they tried both.
PVSD is now under new guidelines created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure healthy lunches: students must take at least one fruit or vegetable serving, at least 50 precent of all grain foods must be whole-grain rich, milk must be 1-percent or fat free, saturated fat and sodium must be limited, and there is a caloric cap for all meals - 650 for elementary students, 750 for middle school students, 850 for high school.
According to Beth Yaksich, PVSD director of food service, the new regulations did not result in a drastic change for the school district because it has been moving towards serving healthier foods for several years.
Perkiomen Valley Middle School East Cafeteria manager Maureen McKenrick feels similarly.
“We have been pretty progressive about introducing new things before we have to do it,” she said. “I haven’t really heard a lot of complaints.”
McKenrick also said that staff engages students to talk about healthy choices.
“When they come through the line, we try to engage them in conversation,” she said. “We try to encourage kids to eat healthy.”