Healthier Food Being Offered At East Texas School - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/17/06-Longview

Healthier Food Being Offered At East Texas School

Some East Texas students will have to say goodbye to some of their favorite fried foods. Longview IDS kicked off the first day of school today and with each school year comes some changes, including what's on the menu for lunch. This year students may see the same foods, but those foods may be made very differently.  

Students at Valley View Elementary wait in line picking out what they want to eat, but little do they know their favorite foods can be healthy for them.

"A smart pizza--we use low-fat pepperoni, low-fat sausage, low-fat cheese and whole grain pizza crust and they haven't known the difference," says Michelle Mitchell, LISD Food Services Supervisor.

Longview ISD says it's now incorporating more whole grains and less fried foods into their menu. "It's a way for us in the school system to monitor what our children are eating so if we make the push and introduce the children to more healthier choices then when they get home, they may make the same choices there," says Mitchell.

Mitchell also says aside from offering whole grain items and baked products school cafeterias also offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.

And the students seem to like those changes. "Peaches, sometimes they have bananas and apples. I try different things everyday," says Austin, a Valley View third-grader.

"I think it's good for everybody because you eat junk food and that's very very unhealthy, but if you're eating healthy food, it's really great," says Nataylee, a Valley View fifth-grader.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, 35 percent of Texas children are overweight or obese so it's no wonder schools are quickly trying to "replace the bad things for the good things," says Mitchell.

It's all in hopes that kids will do the same thing at home and as they grow up.  

Mitchell also says the district is working towards removing all fryers from the kitchens, and replacing them with ovens by 2009.  

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.

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