New, healthy options added to menu at RCSD schools

Students make their own salads at lunch at Clara Barton School No. 2 thanks to new salad bar.

The students at Clara Barton School No. 2 are enjoying something new at lunch.

"I like it," said fourth grader Kiasia Monson. "It feels like we're at our own restaurant or our own house."

"It really tastes good and it makes my body healthy," said fourth grader Corey McMath. "And it's got some vegetables in there I really like."

Their school is one of only two in the district to have a salad bar, for now at least.

Healthi Kids and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation have been working for years to make school lunches more appealing, looking into what kids were eating and even what was being thrown away.

"One of the things we've heard over and over from kids is that they want more of a variety of fruits and vegetables," said Dina Faticone, the director of Healthi Kids.

"People would be surprised in today's youth how they really want to eat salad, they really want to eat healthy foods," said Gemma Humphries, RCSD Food Services.

The students have already shown big interest in salad bars at Clara Barton.The district has been teaching kids about eating right, and now they're able to provide the tools, literally, for students to make those healthy choices.

"We know that healthy minds and healthy bodies allow our kids to get the quality education they need," said Principal Pamela Rutland.

"If a kid is hungry, if a kid is not getting what they're supposed to nutritionally, they're going to have a really hard time learning," said Heidi Burke with the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

The district was able to add the salad bars thanks to a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation. The next step is to get salad bars in every school.

"Starting them at this age, at this level, that is how we can make an impact and educate our kids that eating fresh salad, fruits, those are important things for them in terms of their health," said Dele Akinniyi of RCSD Food Services.

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