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School 244 in Flushing, Queens, becomes first public school in nation to serve only vegetarian meals

Friday, May 10, 2013   (0 Comments)
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Active Learning Elementary School is part of a citywide effort to promote healthy food.

TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2013, 8:52 PMBY CORINNE LESTCH AND BEN CHAPMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and student Arianna Francisco have a vegetarian meal together on Tuesday at PS 244.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and student Arianna Francisco have a vegetarian meal together on Tuesday at PS 244.

 

There's no "mystery meat” at one Queens public elementary school.

Public School 244 in Flushing is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, according to city education officials.

 

Crystal Gu, schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and Arianna Francisco enjoy a vegetarian lunch. Walcott says the all-vegetarian food system should be replicated at schools across the city and nation.

Chefs at the Active Learning Elementary School have swapped chicken, turkey and ham for black beans, tofu and falafel, and kids are digging in with delight.

"This is so good!” squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti, devouring her black bean and cheddar cheese quesadilla Tuesday at lunch. "I’m enjoying that it didn’t have a lot of salt in it. ”

On the menu is black bean and cheddar quesadillas with salsa and roasted potatoes.

 

The kids are digging into the vegetarian fare with gusto. "This is so good!” squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti.

The students are pioneers in a citywide effort to make healthy food a staple of every child’s day.

 

Public School 244, above, partnered with nonprofit New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to design vegetarian recipes.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who often crows about maintaining a fit lifestyle, said the launch of the vegetarian food-fest should be duplicated in schools across the city and country.

"I don’t eat fried foods. I don’t drink soda. I try not to have sweets too often,” said Walcott, who tested the veggie victuals. "And that’s what we want for our students ... to make sure they eat healthy both at home and school.”


Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who is calling for the all-vegetarian effort to be expanded, is known for adhering to a healthy lifestyle.

"That’s what we want for our students ... to make sure they eat healthy both at home and school,” he said.

A-rated PS 244 partnered with nonprofit New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to design recipes for appetizing plant-based grub.

 

Walcott places carrots onto the tray of Arianna Francisco. Salad bars have been installed in 1,000 schools, and they’ll be a fixture at all 1,800 facilities by the end of the next academic year.


"We believe that, if we taught kids to make healthy choices, it would help them to grow as students and well-rounded children,” said Principal Robert Groff, who helped found the school in 2008.

City public schools have undergone a "revolution” in cafeteria fare since Mayor Bloomberg took office, according to Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the Office of School Support Services for the city Education Department.

The ongoing evolution of cafeteria grub has led schools to serve only whole-grain breads and pastas. Salad bars have been installed in 1,000 schools, and they’ll be a fixture at all 1,800 facilities by the end of the next academic year.

clestch@nydailynews.com

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BREAKFAST MENU

  1. Whole-grain sunrise carrot bread with hot cereal choice
  2. Fluffy egg omelet with melted cheese in a New York-style bagel
  3. Waffles with warm syrup and mozzarella string cheese

LUNCH MENU

  1. Black bean and cheddar quesadilla served with salsa, red roasted
  2. potatoes and broccoli
  3. Roasted organic tofu with cacciatore sauce, whole-grain pasta and roasted zucchini
  4. "Superhero” spinach wrap with cucumber salad
  5. Chickpea falafel in a soft wheat wrap with chopped romaine, fresh diced tomatoes and cucumber salad
  6. Source: City Department of Education

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-school-serves-all-vegetarian-fare-article-1.1331690#ixzz2SIBE8lmb




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