Merced city middle-school students now can spice up their lunchtime cafeteria dishes with new “flavor stations” at Cruickshank, Hoover, Rivera, and Tenaya, district officials say.
“MCSD will introduce different flavors throughout the year to expand the selections and provide ethnically diverse choices,” officials said in a news release. “Students will have a chance to vote on their favorites.”
Students have access to low-sodium Tajin, cinnamon sugar, salt-free lemon pepper, and garlic jalapeno.
“These stations are a way to add more flavor to school meals while still meeting strict nutrition guidelines,” officials said.
Federal laws passed in recent years required schools to push more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy while cutting back on sugar and eliminating trans-fats.
“While these changes were made to support good nutrition, they have made it more challenging for districts to provide meals that are appealing to children,” officials said. “That’s why MCSD is getting creative.”
The district serves about 8,000 lunches, 4,600 breakfasts, and 1,100 after school “Super Snacks” each day.
Breakfast is free for all children and always includes fresh fruit. Lunch options always include fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.