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Aaliyah Kellog's picture

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I’m a 5th grader at in Minnesota. My school has a very healthy lunch program, offering a lot of well balanced meal choices. We have six different meal stations: The Main Ingredient, Stock Exchange, Improvisations, Classic Cuts Deli, Seasonings, and the Baking Company.

 The Main Ingredient is the first station on the line. It features a complete meal with a daily serving of meat, a starch, and a vegetable.  It also includes the pasta bar which has penne with marinara sauce.

 Stock Exchange has soups are and you can pick from two each day.  

 Improvisations is the salad bar and it includes various lettuces, salad items and a rotation of cool selections like hummus and tabbouleh. There’s also at least one bulgar, wheat berry or quinoa based salad everyday, which makes it nice for vegetarians, or kids who are just having a meat free day.

 Classic Cuts Deli is where you’ll find deli food like egg, chicken and potato salads, and freshly sliced deli meats.  

 The Seasonings station has one unique side dish daily. One day it might be a baked potato bar, another day it might be something exotic like Curried Rice & Lentils Sauteed with Baby Bok Choy.

 The Baking Company serves fresh seasonal fruit everyday and desserts like cookies, yellow cake, sherbert, ice cream, etc.  Because I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I don’t always like the vegetarian selections, I’m one of the students who brings lunch from home. Our teachers, no matter if we eat cold lunch or not, encourage us to eat at least one type of fruit and one type of vegetable everyday. The teachers really do pay attention to what and how we eat. I keep it sort of simple because we don’t have a lot of time and I sometimes eat really slow. I usually have a bagel with cream cheese, and some apple slices or watermelon. Every now and then, I will bring a chicken sandwich. I don’t always add a vegetable because my mom makes kale juice for me everyday before I got to school, but if I do, I bring baby carrots. I do, however, buy lunch when they have something that I really like.

Overall, I think the students at my school understand the importance of eating a healthy lunch. Most students eat the hot lunch, but even those of us who don’t pretty much always make sure to bring something that is good for us. Even our vending machines have healthy snacks like Sun Chips, Fruit Snacks, pretzels and Izzy’s, which I think should be a model for public schools.  Students really like vending machines, so it’s nice when they actually have good stuff in them. Plus I know those kinds of healthy munchies will help me get through my day without sucking my energy. My dad is super strict when it comes to eating and nutrition, but every now and then my mom lets me have some junk food. But I always notice the difference in how my body feels if I eat too much of the wrong stuff. I really appreciate the effort my parents and teachers make to be sure I am eating the way I should, the way that makes my body, and my school day, feel best.

This post is part of the MomsRising Healthy Holiday Food Blog Carnival.

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