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Students help design menu in West Genesee School District

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Students help design menu in West Genesee School District
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Students in the West Genesee School District are helping give their school lunch menus a new look. The goal is to come up with healthy and tasty selections while meeting the new federal nutrition standards, which were implemented last September. Our Brad Vivacqua is in our newsroom this morning to tell us more about this.

CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- If our viewers have kids in school, it's important to know they're eating healthy and eating enough in school each day. Back in September, new federal guidelines for school lunches became more strict than ever before.

According to those new federal guidelines, school meals must offer five components daily. Those include milk, fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.

Meanwhile, the components must meet limits on saturated fat and portion size.

West Genesee School District officials say last September and October they struggled to come up with options that met government standards.

The district hired a diabetic nutritionist to help design the menu but also began reaching out to student groups for help.

Students did some taste testing and suggested some healthy and tastier selections for the menu, staying within portion limits.

The district has been seeing an increase in the number of students buying lunch each day.

West Genesee School District Superintendent Dr. Christopher Brown said, "We're seeing that many more students are trying those things. The baked potato bar was a big hit for us actually. Chicken riggies was another big hit for us. It's interesting to see the information change, and it's new for us so what we'll do is, we're going to meet with the students again, probably around the end of January to see if there's any tweaks or changes that they'd like to see."

Brown said the district is looking forward to getting more student feedback on the new lunch menus. He said the student suggestions been a beneficial approach to making lunch better throughout the district.

Like many districts, parents can view the school lunch menu online by visiting the district's website.

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