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CPS creates healthy foods & diverse menu

August 23, 2016

By Liz Bonis, WKRC

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There were some hot new items on the school lunch menu for many kids who headed back to school.

Student eating a healthy lunchCincinnati Public will have everything from avocado and beet chips to kid sized salad bars! But that's not all. Local 12 News met part of the cutting edge school lunch team at the Academy of World Languages School in O’Bryanville to sample some of the hot new items they were cooking up for school lunches.

The students there were among the 3,500 students in Cincinnati Public Schools who head back to class Wednesday, August 17, and back to the school cafeteria.

It's often the favorite part of the day for lots of reasons.

Third grader, Dianna, said her favorite thing about school lunch was, “When we eat lunch and we get to play outside.” As for what she liked best on the menu, “I think cheese and fruit.”

Working around likes and dislikes is no small task for the school lunch team. But for CPS food service director Jessica Shelly, it's a top priority.

Shelly said, “A kid can't listen to their teacher when they are listening to their stomach rumbling.”

Shelly has to get about 35,000 students a day to eat school lunch. Her team creates some of the top trends in healthy menus, homegrown produce, fruits sliced into kid sized servings and milks and meats without added hormones for clean eating. And most of all cultural variety.

Jackie Rowedder, the principal of Academy of World Languages, said, “We have an amazingly diverse student body here, we represent about 42 countries, we speak about 35 languages and none of them like the same thing to eat.”

They are adding items such as curry chicken and to top it off, if students need to know what's in a recipe or want to build a menu there's an app for that. It allows people to find out everything from ingredients to calories, to food allergy information and its available in everything from English to Arabic.

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