MIAMI (WSVN) - With the start of the school year just days away, the Miami-Dade County Public School district has set its lunch menu for students.
“We have to plan it very far in advance, but after planning, we then are always working to find new items,” said Penny Parham, the M-DCPS Food and Nutrition Officer.
These new items are designed to respond to trends and student preferences. For the 2018-19 school year, that means turkey products instead of pork, antibiotic-free chicken and even vegan chili.
“Free breakfast at every single school, every single day, no questions asked, in the 305,” said School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Carvalho said the goal is to improve the menu every year and rely more on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
“It is a significant upgrade in the menu, so it’s a transition from tasty, but now tasty and healthy in a diversified way, really appealing to the tastes of the children,” Carvalho said.
Carvalho said a lot of care and pride goes into creating the menus. Some of the ingredients are even delivered from local farms and bakeries.
Over 273,000 meals are served daily across the county.
“Seventy-five percent of the kids in Miami-Dade live at or below the poverty level, and they rely on our breakfast and lunch, as well as a healthy snack, which has the caloric intake of a dinner,” Carvalho said. “Very often, the meals, sadly, the meals kids eat in our schools may be the only meals they eat daily.”
“The most important thing is that they have the energy they need to do their academics, to do their athletics and to grow as little kids into healthy people,” Parham said.
For parents and students who like to plan ahead, you can download the Miami-Dade Schools mobile app to see your school’s menu at least a week in advance.
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