Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter
The Mesquite Independent School District is getting recognition from the United States Department of Agriculture for revamping school lunches and making them healthier.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is recognizing the Mesquite school district for making school lunches healthier.
A USDA campaign that challenges school lunch programs to make healthier meals has awarded 32 Mesquite Independent School District elementary schools with HealthierUS School status.
This year, the district has revamped school menus to focus on fresh fruit and vegetables and has promoted fitness and nutrition.
"It's not only about the fast food and the starchy vegetables or the french fries or the hamburgers," dietitian Lindsey Schoenfeld said.
Kim Broadway, principal of Floyd Elementary, said her students enjoy the new menus.
"When they first started changing the menu, if you will, a few years ago, we were worried that the kids wouldn't be eating it, but they love it," she said. "If it tastes good, they will eat it."
"This time in their life is the most important time because they're young and, if we capture them now, we have a better chance of them being healthy in the long run," Schoenfeld said.
Once a month, the district wants to focus on getting children to try fruits or vegetables they may not be familiar with, such as star fruit or three-bean salad, so they can eat it regularly.
The HealthierUS School Challenge is part of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, which started in 2010.
Each school receives $500 for meeting the challenge.