Education

Durham schools put healthier lunches on menu

Posted October 15, 2013

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— Healthy changes are on the menu for Durham's Public Schools lunchrooms, with students finding everything from soy milk to more "scratch-made" meals in school cafeterias to help them get through the day.

James Keaten, the school district's new director of child nutrition, decided to promote more home-cooking, from having cafeterias roast their own turkeys to making lasagna.

"It tastes better than what comes pre-processed," said Deloris Abram, who ate lunch with her granddaughter Tuesday at Eno Elementary School.

Sixty-two percent of Durham students rely on their schools for their primary nutrients, Keaten said, meaning healthier options are a responsible move.

"We've implemented all of our bread products, including breadings on meat products, are all whole grain," Keaten said, noting that federal requirements call for schools to have at least half of their bread products whole grain.

School lunch, school cafeteria School lunches feature more fruits, veggies, whole grains

The changes, including buying more local fresh fruits and vegetables, have added $90,000 to the district's school lunch budget, he said.

Abram said she can taste the difference, noting that school cafeterias served plenty of starchy food when her children were students.

"This year, with the whole grain and the fruit, I enjoy them eating fruit because it keeps them healthier and balanced," she said.

Another healthy change involves removing all fryers from district schools. Officials started removing them eight years ago and will finish the process by the end of this school year, Keaten said.

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  • really02 Oct 17, 2013

    I am glad that I do not have any children. What are the for anyway? To pay the debt?

  • Jack Flash Oct 16, 2013

    "This is called "sorry parenting"!!!!"

    Yeah? What do you call it when this kind of thing repeats itself generation after generation? Is it JUST 'sorry parenting'? No other factor or explanation? If you have both a brain and a heart, you should recognize that there is more to it than just 'sorry parenting,' and then you should contribute to a solution for it. All I sense from people like you who insult the people involved then move on is that if you can oversimplify and dismiss them, you can rationalize not lifting a finger to help.

  • thewayitis Oct 16, 2013

    $90,000 more for the taxpayer to pay. Lovely.

  • stymieindurham Oct 16, 2013

    "Sixty-two percent of Durham students rely on their schools for their primary nutrients."
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    This is called "sorry parenting"!!!!

  • crazydaveca Oct 15, 2013

    "How much you wanna bet that the majority of the parents of those kids have smart phones, two cars, decent jobs, well, maybe until Obama, big screen TVs and more."

    How shameful of you to denigrate a school system actively trying to improve the health of its students by offering better cafeteria food. That should have nothing to have to do with politics. Given the choice between fried, processed food and healthy, well-prepared food, I should hope that every school system and every student in it chooses the latter.

    I'll leave it up to you to audit the households of every schoolchild in Durham County and compile an exhaustive report proving that 50% or more of those households match your description.

  • meeper Oct 15, 2013

    I'm very proud to know that someone listens to Michelle Obama. Especially the liberals who run the public schools.

  • yankee1 Oct 15, 2013

    Sixty-two percent of Durham students rely on their schools for their primary nutrients,....

    Can their be sadder commentary on the state of the nation than that? How much you wanna bet that the majority of the parents of those kids have smart phones, two cars, decent jobs, well, maybe until Obama, big screen TVs and more. Yet the rest of us have to pay taxes to feed their kids. What a sick irresponsible society we have become. The parents of these kids, unless they are destitute thru no fault of their own, should be ashamed! On the other hand, as this is a government program, and we all know liberals and Democrats are all about entitlements as a vote buying tool, maybe the requirements to get into the program are ridiculously generous, like maybe three or four times US, not world, poverty levels. Could be!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Oct 15, 2013

    Glad to hear it. Hope all schools nationwide follow suit and don't buckle if the kids don't immediately take to it.

    Offer them two choices like we had as children - take it or leave it!