• School nutritionists serving kids more spicy, flavorful foods they want

    By: Carol Sbarge

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Some metro Atlanta students are heading back to school Friday but months of planning have gone into what they will be served at lunch.

    Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge recently talked to the vice president of the School Nutrition Association at their annual convention, which was in Atlanta this year.

    From Thai coconut soup to spicy Mexican food, Gay Anderson says school nutritionists are serving students more of the spicy, flavorful foods they want.

    Anderson says International foods are popular right now.

    "We saw many examples of that at the conference at the World Congress Center," Anderson said. "The bland food many people remember from their school lunches doesn’t cut it these days."


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    The assistant director of the Gwinnett County School nutrition program says their students are from all over the world.

    Karen Hallford said the students are used to eating a variety of cuisines at different restaurants, which is why she and other school nutritionists said providing fresh and flavorful food that students are making clear they want.

    More than 7,000 school nutritionists from around the country got to sample all kinds of dishes.

    Schools have to also follow federal guidelines on nutrition.

    Sbarge sampled some vegetarian fried rice that she could add a low sodium sweet and sour sauce to.

    Food safety is also critical.

    Sbarge has read through hundreds of health inspection reports while reporting on restaurant inspections in metro Atlanta and she has found most school kitchens consistently get high inspection scores.

    Anderson believes school lunches are the cleanest kitchens in the country.


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