All-Vegetarian Menu Introduced At New York School

An all-vegetarian menu has been introduced at a New York City elementary school, offering students veggie chili and tofu wraps.

There’s not a horse burger or Turkey Twizzler in sight at Public School 244. The Queens elementary school is the first in the city to go all-veggie, and animal-welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals thinks it could be the first in the nation.

The school, which was founded in 2008 and now educates 400 students in pre-kindergarten through to third grade, has moved gradually towards a vegetarian menu for some time.

It began by offering healthy food options and offering a veggie lunch three times a week. When that proved popular, the school introduced the meal four days a week. It has now gone all-vegetarian.

Kids at the school have voted with their dinner tickets. Principal Robert Groff told The Associated Press that students favored the vegetable offerings which include black beans and cheddar quesadillas served with salsa and roasted potatoes. In a New York Daily News report, he says:

“We believe that, if we taught kids to make healthy choices, it would help them to grow as students and well-rounded children.”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott adds that he is proud of the “trailblazing” school. He tells the Daily News:

“I don’t eat fried foods. I don’t drink soda. I try not to have sweets too often. And that’s what we want for our students […] to make sure they eat healthy both at home and school.”

Meals in New York City public schools have undergone a dramatic change since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office. Most schools in the city now only serve wholegrain breads and pastas, while salad bars have been installed in 1,000 schools.

What do you think of an all-vegetarian school menu? Can such a move benefit students in the long-term?

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