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Washoe County School District in Nevada Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

Since September of 2010, Washoe County School District (WCSD) has taken an active approach to offer more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to our students. With the complete integration of the new USDA meal pattern, WCSD now offers at least six fruit and vegetable options each day.

The reaction of the students cannot only be felt in the smiles and items they take, but it is also showing up in the double digit increase in participation at both lunch and breakfast. Items like the BLT Spinach Salad, 100 percent Romaine side salads and the Italian tomato salads have opened the door for students to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

Students at Washoe County School District in Nevada show off the delicious fruits and vegetables at their school’s salad bar. The BLT Spinach Salad is a fan favorite!

Washoe County School District elementary school uses fruit and veggie bars to give students a number of fruit and vegetable options to choose from, but fruits and vegetables are just one part of the change. We have increased the number of products that are whole grain. Now more than 85 percent of our breads, tortillas, pastas and pizza dough are whole grain. Initially, most people thought students would not like whole grain pasta or pizza. The truth is that they LOVE the products and have commented many times about the quality and taste.

Student acceptance of the new meal pattern revolves around making things fun, fresh and high quality. When we introduce a new product it is always done with sampling so that students have the opportunity to try things they may otherwise pass up on the line. Student nutrition is a passion and increasing the quality and healthiness of our menus is something that we owe to our student population.

Let's Move! is celebrating National Nutrition Month with stories of school cafeterias serving healthy meals across the country. Learn more about the historic, healthy changes to school meals.

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