Coming Soon to FCPS: More Fruits and Veggies

Test salad bar at Marshall High School/Credit: FCPSSome Fairfax County Public School cafeterias are going to get healthier this school year.

Following the success of a pilot program at Marshall High last year, the system plans to have fresh fruit and vegetable stations in all middle and high schools by the end of 2014-15, and eventually in all elementary schools, says school board at-large member Ryan McElveen.

Marshall was the test market for “The Statesman Station” after the school board voted in 2012 to fund the changes. On the menu at Marshall, at least during an unveiling to local officials: Mixed Green Salad with Spinach and Chopped Kale; Waldorf and Cranberry Salad; Falafel Flatbread Sandwich with Tzatziki Sauce; Kung Pao Chicken and Lo Mein Noodles; and Yogurt Parfaits and Naked Juice Smoothies. 

Those changes came in part from the national Let’s Move campaign founded by First Lady Michelle Obama and a grassroots effort by local parents, Real Food For Kids, to improve the quality of school lunch. The school board also commissioned a study by Prismatics Inc., which made recommendations on how to improve FCPS meals.

While FCPS was meeting national U.S. Department of Agriculture standards in its offerings, Real Food For Kids challenged the system to take it a step further.

“While FCPS adheres to USDA guidelines for school lunches, we know that we can do so much better,” reads the Real Food For Kids mission statement. “We want all children to eat in schools the way our grandmothers taught us to eat. Pure and simple. It’s not rocket science and it’s not radical —  it’s simply right.”

“We desire an open, positive dialogue between FCPS Administrators, Food Nutrition Services, and FCPS PTAs / Parents. Teamwork! The RFFK Resolution has already been adopted by the Fairfax County Council of PTAs (FCCPTA) and a growing number of the school PTAs/PTOs.”

Among the Reston-area schools adopting the resolution: Armstrong ES, Aldrin ES, Forest Edge ES, Herndon ES, Herndon HS, Lake Anne ES, South Lakes HS, Sunrise Valley ES and Terraset ES.

“In only two years the school board, in collaboration with the Fairfax community, has stimulated a marked improvement in school food, and it remains committed to raising children to live healthier and more vibrant lives,” McElveen recently wrote on his blog.

Find out how your school can adopt the RFFK Resolution by visiting Real Food For Kids.

What do you think about the quality of FCPS food? Take our poll.

Photo: Test salad bar at Marshall High School/Credit: FCPS

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