Bay Area Schools Push for New Healthy Menus

Bay Area Schools Consider Salad Bars and Sushi

By Kellie Onaga
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 4:29 PM PDT
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A number of Bay Area schools are going above and beyond the federal government's rules for healthy school lunches for your kids.

Come fall, in San Jose Unified Schools, "fusion" fruit-vegetable drinks and Teddy Grahams will be on the menu - and fried chips will be out.

The Oakland Tribune reports in Oakland, the nutrition services director wants to upgrade dozens of kitchens and develop a 44,000-square-foot central facility - with a 1.5-acre organic farm outside.

Richmond High School might have a salad bar with produce harvested directly from the student garden.

A "sushi robot" that specializes in California rolls may make its rounds in at least one Hayward school cafeteria.

And the superintendent of the Martinez school district wants to create an organic gardening and cooking class for junior high students.

School districts say all the changes come over concerns about childhood obesity.  And they want to help young people develop patterns in their lives that promote a healthy lifestyle.

A new survey found 57-percent of California school children meet qualify for federally subsidized meals, and many rely on school lunch for a large part of the daily sustenance.  

Here in the Bay Area - that number is 70-percent in Oakland, 62-percent in Hayward, 42-percent in Alameda County and 38-percent in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

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