Kids approve of healthier school lunches

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Buying healthy food can be very expensive. Especially if you're trying to feed hundreds of hungry school aged kids. To help foot the bill, the government passed a $4.5 billion plan to ensure all students' lunch trays are filled with nutritious food.

It's lunch time at Pete Elementary. On the menu: spaghetti, chef salad and fresh fruit.

"These things are not cheap," said Victor Olivares, Tyler ISD Food Service Director, said.

Olivares said every plate served up is healthy.

"One thing we've done is a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporated more whole wheat bread and this things are not cheap," he said.

66% of the student body at Pete Elementary is on a free or reduced lunch. For some students, their school lunch is their healthiest, and in some cases only, meal of the day.

"It's nice to see these kids are getting variety that they may not be able to afford at some of their homes," Olivares said.

The government plans to pump billions of dollars into school lunch programs. Olivares said every penny helps.

"It is very exciting because nationwide you can see it will do a lot of good for children everywhere," he said. "Here locally it can help us increase and continue what we're doing."

With increased funding in school lunch programs, kids will have more options when it comes to fruits. The question is: will they eat it?

Their answers may surprise you.

"Salad," said one second grader.

Julia, who's in the second grader, said she likes eating healthy food.

"It's good! It's good for your body too," she said.

"I like the corn too," Jennifer Thorton, second grader, said

Shockingly, the kids we talked with don't like junk food.

"Well, I know it's good, but it's not good for your body," Julia said.

"Cause you'll get fat," second grader Paulina Camacho said.

"Looking at these kids saying these things is nice for me to hear as well because that means some of the changes we've been making over the couple of years have instilled in them that healthy food is good food too," Olivares said.

Soon there will be more healthy options for kids across the country to pile onto their lunch tray.

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