Toss out the tater tots and pass the bed red potatoes: Spokane Public Schools is ushering in the new school year with some jumbo-size changes in the cafeteria all in the name of better health.
The district hopes these healthy changes in the cafeteria will help influence kid's eating habits for years to come.
When the clock strikes 11:25 a.m., hungry kids line up for lunch at Garfield Elementary. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were on Wednesday's menu but what students probably didn't know is the bread was whole grain, a small change that the district hopes parents eat up.
"We are just trying to model healthier choices for kids, we got baked chicken on the menu now, we have our turkey gravy and some of the casserole dishes that we have modified," Doug Worrdell with Spokane Public Schools said.
Instead of classic tater tots, they'll serve baby red potatoes; hot dogs are off the menu while French fries will be limited. Everyone needs to indulge from time to time so, once a week, the kids will get a treat during lunch time like an ice cream or cookie.
"We aren't in the business of feeding garbage cans, we are in the business of feeding kids so we still have to make it attractive and notorious," Worrdell said.
The district is now buying some locally grown produce; for example, they get their apples from a farm in Omak.
"We have three bean salad, corn salsa, black bean salad that we are introducing to kids to try to nudge them to healthier choices," Worrdell said.
The reason is because one in three kids is overweight or obese, and that's why the district requires each student takes at least a half cup of fruit and vegetables.
With each bite, kids are learning about eating right; a life-long habit with no expiration date.