CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School lunch has a bad reputation.
“There’s a perception that the food is not good and that it’s not cool to eat school lunch,” registered dietitian Brittany Garcia said.
Garcia is the nutritional coordinator for the Flour Bluff Independent School District. She takes pictures of the school’s daily menu and posts them on social media.
“Steak fingers, broccoli, mashed potatoes, apple sauce and a roll,” she said.
She wanted to take the extra step in making school lunch appetizing and a hit with the kids because she remembers what cafeteria food was like when she was growing up.
“I actually did not eat the school lunch back when I was in school,” Garcia said. “I usually brought my lunch.”
And now she is eating the school lunch at work every day.
It’s the feedback from parents and students that keeps her going. They send her Snapchats on a daily basis inquiring about the day’s menu.
“It’s been really fun,” she said, “because I’ll have students sending me messages or snaps of themselves saying, ‘What’s on the menu today?’”
She hits the mark when it comes to the strict nutritional guidelines set in place, making sure she has the right amount of fruits, veggies, starches, grains, sodium, fats and proteins.
“All of our menu is put into a nutrition analysis program and it’s analyzed for the week,” Garcia said. “And if it’s meeting those requirements, then it’s good to go.”
And we all know kids can be picky.
Vida Monroy is the kitchen supervisor for the district. Her own sixth-grade daughter, Alexa Monroy, is also on board with the variety the menu brings.
“Our food looks appealing to the kids,” she said. “Because some kids, if they see that the food is not looking good, they don’t want to try it.”
Students went through the lunch lines already chatting about what they were going to put on their trays. Alexa Monroy grabbed the school’s popular Chef’s Salad.
“It’s amazing and I want to thank the lunch ladies for making it and being so polite,” Alexa Monroy said.
“They put their love and their heart into what they are serving these students,” Garcia said.
This year, all students at FBISD receive free lunch due to the pandemic.