Local school districts make changes to hot lunch menus

Dietitians say school lunches are improving. (SBG photo) 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Hot lunch at school isn’t as scary as it used to be, says local registered dietitian nutritionist Katharine Jeffcoat.

She said meals should include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, carbs and even fat.

She said there needs to be balance and choices offered in school lunches.

Michael Vetter, administrator of nutrition, said that’s what he’s trying to serve in the Beaverton School District this year.

“I would love to hear from children, teachers, parents that when they see our cafeteria, when they see our food, when they taste our food, that they're going to say, 'I can't believe that this is school lunch,'" Vetter said.

Experts say the key is to get kids to finish their meal.

“The important part about lunch is give them a lunch you know that they will eat,” Jeffcoat said. “And if it's choosing their hot lunch on their favorite choice days when they're having pizza, then let them eat the hot lunch, because eating is more important that not eating.”

So what’s the secret ingredient?

“I guarantee it; if you make something with love, and you season it with love, guess what? It's going to taste so much better,” Vetter said.

This is Mike Vetter’s first year with Beaverton Schools. He’s looking forward to making some changes to school lunch.

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