Education

‘Build Your Own Lunch’ lets students eat more, waste less (+video)

VIDEO: Build-your-own lunch at Wichita schools

Every Monday at Wichita middle and high schools, students can build taco, noodle, pasta or burger dishes as part of a new effort to improve school lunches and reduce waste. (Suzanne Perez Tobias/The Wichita Eagle)
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Every Monday at Wichita middle and high schools, students can build taco, noodle, pasta or burger dishes as part of a new effort to improve school lunches and reduce waste. (Suzanne Perez Tobias/The Wichita Eagle)

Wichita school district leaders kicked off National School Lunch Week on Monday with a visit to Hamilton Middle School to build their own tacos and burritos.

The “Build Your Own Lunch” option is new this year at Wichita middle- and high-school cafeterias. Once a week, students can go through the lunch line to get a basic meal – on Monday it was a whole-wheat tortilla or chips with beef or pork – and then enhance it with items from a self-serve island, such as salsa, cheese, beans and lettuce.

By choosing what they put on their plates, district officials said, students tend to eat more and waste less. Depending on the week, students build their own pasta dishes, Asian noodle dishes or burgers.

Wichita, the state’s largest school district, serves about 31,000 lunches and about 11,500 breakfasts. This school year, the district expects to serve more than 5.3 million lunches.

Every Monday at Wichita middle and high schools, students can build taco, noodle, pasta or burger dishes as part of a new effort to improve school lunches and reduce waste. (Suzanne Perez Tobias/The Wichita Eagle)

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