Inside the Kitchen: How healthy meals are made at Provo School District

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News ) - When it comes to healthy school lunches one local school district is being recognized for doing it right. Last week we told you about EATS, Eat Awesome Things at School, the non-profit that's asking the Park City School District to move towards less processed foods and more scratch cooking. They say it's possible because other districts have done it. They point to the Provo School District. So, ABC 4 News went to Provo to check out what's for lunch.
 
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and homemade lasagna. "We have whole grain pasta, we make our own sauce and then it has the mozzarella and cheddar cheese in it," said Capri Jenkins, Child Nutrition Program Manager.
 
No this isn't your mother's house this is lunch at Franklin Elementary School. If you're thinking they prepared this homemade meal just for our cameras, take a look at their lunch calendar. Jenkins said, "The chicken noodle soup is all homemade, the lasagna, the turkey we actually get in a whole turkey like you cook for Thanksgiving."
 
Jenkins has been the Child Nutrition Program Manager at Franklin for the last 15 years and says. "Ever since I started at the Provo School District...we've always done it like this."
         
On top of the fresh fruit and vegetables there's an education component to Provo's lunch program to help teach the students what might show up on their plate one day.
 
Laura Larsen, Provo School District's Child Nutrition Program Director explained, "A lot of our children this is the first time they've gotten to see these types of products so without that program they would not be able to experience it first hand."
 
It's working. The kids are trying more foods and eating more veggies, like those found in the chef's salad. "You would be surprised how many of them take it," said Jenkins.
 
And we were. Kindergarteners eating salad? Who knew? "It tastes yummy," said 5-year-old Blake.
 
At Franklin Elementary School 80% of the students eat school lunch and it's no surprise why, it's good. "I think it's really good. I usually eat all my lunch," said 6th grader Tia Rochette. 
 
"It's good and healthy and very tasty," added Natalya Anderson.
 
6th grader Makayla Pulley puts lunch at Franklin above many other meals she's had. "I think it's better than most lunches I've had before." 
 
For more information on Provo's School Lunch program log on to: http://itsmealsprovo.com/?page=menus

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