Gallup's school district serving healthier meals

Posted at: 05/13/2013 6:58 PM
Updated at: 05/13/2013 7:07 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4


Talk to any school nutritionist and they'll tell you one of the hardest things about getting kids to eat healthy is finding foods they also like.

One New Mexico district seems to have found the right recipe. They're serving salads. Taco salads, chef salads and even chicken nugget salads. The kids are eating them up.

It started with just two schools a couple of years ago and since then it’s sprouted.

Head Cook at Jefferson Elementary School, Toni Labra, says the recipes require a little more work for the staff. But Healthy Kids New Mexico Director, Rita Condon says it’s worth it.

"Kids that get a wide variety of foods and include plenty of exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables- drinking water. You know, having a healthy lifestyle contributes to better academic performance and fewer missed days."

Condon says she hopes Gallup can be a model for the state’s other districts.  

"It had to start small and then gain momentum and now it's like it has always been there. So we want to make that, we want to work to make that happen in the rest of the school districts in our state."

The salads are served at all 19 elementary schools in the Gallup/McKinley District two to five times a week.