Sneak Peek at New Menu Items for Miami-Dade Students

Fajitas on the grill? They could just sell the sizzle, but with kale salad, homemade smoothies and veggie wraps, this place has premium items on its new menu.

How do you eat there? You can't, unless you're a student in a Miami-Dade County Public School.

The district's Food and Nutrition Director unveiled new menu items she hopes the students will like. 

"You know, they're kids, they still want to be able to eat something quick. Our slogan is kinda, we want to make the healthy choice the easy choice," said Penny Parham, who is in charge of what all the kids in the school system are served in their cafeterias.

Last year, they debuted a food truck. It's back, and it'll rotate from school to school, serving chicken fajitas. Parham's team invented a 51 percent whole grain, reduced sugar pastry they're calling the "guavalito."

"It's a guava and cream cheese filled pastry. It will be part of our free breakfast program, you can get the guavalito with fresh fruit and fat free milk," Parham explained, as she reminded us that every child, regardless of income, can get free breakfast on any school day at any public school.

The news media was invited to the test kitchen for this open house event. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho stopped by to sample the new offerings, including vegetarian lasagna and whole grain bread sticks infused with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

There's also a full selection of Chobani Greek yogurt and Naked Brand juices. Parham said to those who ask about salads, every school has them, and more than 100 schools have salad bars. 

Carvalho said the leaner, greener menu is all about health, nutrition, good taste and taking advantage of a built-in customer base. 

"With 50 million meals served every year, we in Miami-Dade Public Schools have an opportunity to really change the way young people eat, so we feed them and educate them at the same time," said Carvalho.

Besides the food, they're also bringing in a new delivery system. Biodegradable plates will begin to replace Styrofoam plates. The kids might learn a little about environmental responsibility as they munch on their fresh fruit and veggies.

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