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Lunch lessons beyond the cafeteria in Queen Creek

Posted: 11:24 AM, Aug 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-23 14:24:32-04

In the early '90's, Adam Sandler so eloquently sang about the school cafeteria and the lunch lady with descriptions of "reheated Salisbury steak" and the heroic "sloppy joe."

But the 21st-century lunchroom is a little different, teaching lessons on food that go beyond the school grounds.

Here they come, lining up in the lunch line. The little hands reach out for food that is, contrary to popular belief, actually healthy. 

"I've seen the pictures that everybody sees floating around with the school lunches and it's the mystery meat. And that's just not the case here."

Dustin Walker, Director of Child Nutrition with the Queen Creek School District says it is no mystery. Just baked chicken and potatoes for the hot entrée on this day at Faith Mather Sossaman Elementary. 

Meals like this that include sides with carrots and cucumbers, grapes and yogurt parfait. If it's breaded, it's got to be whole wheat and whole grains. The focus here is on good habits and nutrition. 

"You can tell that we're empowering them every day to take ownership over their plates and I think that's something parents can do at home."

The plate that can help parents teach their children about eating healthy is at choosemyplate.gov .

So whether they pack a lunch or help out at the dinner table, the right portions with the right food will become second nature for these young people. It all starts with offering good food...not serving it.

"Instead of us serving them a plate with food we allow them to make choices for themselves."