BALTIMORE, Md - For a lot of kids, the best meals of the day are eaten at school.
That fact isn't lost on Baltimore City Schools as leaders continue to expand healthy eating programs.
It turns out the students seem to be adjusting well to the new look of their plates.
The students at Mount Royal Elementary Middle School are getting their lunch from the salad bar. They can do that every school day.
They all do their best to get a balanced meal but still have their favorites.
Fourth grader, Brionna Stennett says, “I really love vegetables and fruits but what I would prefer is the best is fruits, because fruits are more juicier and mostly I eat them kind of every single day.”
Even so, the students understand how eating healthy translates to overall health.
Brionna’s classmate, Jaden Randolph, has his reasons for eating healthy. He tells ABC2, “I play sports so I have to be healthy so I can be active.”
Baltimore City Schools started with just two salad bars three years ago and are now up to 100, with no plans on stopping.
They have even brought in representatives from the USDA and Maryland State Department of Education to show just how much progress they are making.
Baltimore City Public School Interim CEO, Tisha Edwards, says, “We have parents that come in and volunteer to help the kids learn about the fruits and vegetables and how to eat off the salad bar, so it's really a team effort in this community.”
School leaders say the need for this kind of program is especially evident in a school like Mount Royal because 90 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Edwards says, “…breakfast and lunch is one of the things that we know that we need to provide to these kids because in many cases, this is the only meal, healthy meal, that they have the opportunity to have everyday.”
Regional Administrator for Food and Nutrition Service for the Mid-Atlantic Region of USDA, Patricia Dombroski, says “I think that's really the key point of it. It's really giving children the opportunity to try something in school with the hope that when they go home, they're able to maybe even help educate the rest of the family.”
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