As students head into another school year, more schools are deciding to offer healthier school lunches. Mystery meat is gone and better quality foods are moving in.
La Follette High School will have a new variety bar where they will offer options that include a baked potato bar or a burger bar.
Steve Youngbauer, Madison Metropolitan School District food services coordinator, is responsible for lunch options for more than 20,000 students in the district.
This year, the district is aiming to get garden bars into 25 of their schools, but it’s going to take work.
“It’s a combination of upgrading washing facilities, and making some additions to the amount of refrigeration so that we could adequately store the produce from the garden bar,” said Youngbauer.
Changing up school lunches it the theme in many areas, even in smaller places like Sauk Prairie.
“We got them to try kale chips, which were a huge hit,” Lauren Spoke, food services director for the Sauk Prairie School District.
New this year is the return of the district’s partnership with local apple orchard. Their chicken patty option and local organic lettuce can be costly but Spoke said a lot of it is finding a good price when buying for a lot of people.
Trying new, healthy options doesn’t always work well. Like when workers tried hiding beans in the mac and cheese, and it was a “complete failure.”
But when they find something the kids love, it is a win for everyone.