The days of the old school cafeteria are over for students at three Buckeye schools. These lunchrooms have gotten complete makeovers, and it’s all about teaching healthy eating habits. And, we're talking about fancy lunches, in a modern day cafeteria that looks more like a café or food court.
It’s a transformation that brings trendy foods and a café-style feel to Buckeye Union High School, and two other schools, that makes these lunchrooms look modern and sleek.
"I think it's really kind of innovative how this high school, compared to other high schools, has all these different choices," says Junior Kayanna Martin. Adding that, “it's really a nice environment to eat in."
They’ll still wrap up those burgers for the kids, but this new program, funded by Arizona Education, is all about teaching healthy eating habits, and for only $3 per meal.
"Most kids would bring their lunch or wait until the end of the school day to eat,” says teacher Melissa Veo. “Now you see a lot more students eating in the cafeteria, especially because they have such a variety here to choose from."
That variety includes foods ranging from Latin, Greek, Tex-Mex and Indian. And, as a bonus, once a month the kids receive cooking demonstrations from a chef to encourage fresh eating.
"We teach them about nutrition and we try to introduce, maybe, things they haven't tried before, like beets," says Chef Doug Harris of Chartwells K12. "It's nice as a teacher to watch kids walk into my classroom with a lunch of salad, maybe Chinese food or Mexican food,” adds Melissa. Which she says can help broaden a child’s palette of flavors, to help inspire and foster a healthy lifestyle.