The school has been working with nonprofits promoting healthy foods and hopes to encourage good eating choices among students.
(Image source: New York Daily News ) BY ELAINE STOCKDALE Kids at PS 344 elementary in Flushing Queens, New York, can say goodbye to their chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers after the school launched an all-vegetarian cafeteria menu. Pre-K through 3rd grade kids will now be offered tofu, falafel, fruit, black beans and peanut butter jelly sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. (Via KMSP ) “It makes me nutritious and want to tell my family, which makes me want to be more nutritious.” “Its very healthy and it makes your body strong.” (Via ABC ) According to CBS , animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, believe “the school may be the first all-veggie public elementary school in the nation.” Principal Robert Groff, who co-founded the school in 2008, told New York Daily News , “We believe that, if we taught kids to make healthy choices, it would help them to grow as students and well-rounded children.” The school adopted a meatless menu in partnership with a nonprofit organization, New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, after the menu was originally a three times a week option. The coalition has been working with the school for years. The executive director told NBC, “We know that when students eat a healthy diet, they’re able to focus better. Their immune systems are stronger, so they’re sick less, and then they’re in school more and they’re able to focus and concentrate better....” The school went all vegetarian in January but was highlighted publicly after NY city schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott visited on Tuesday. “Whether through the vegetarian diet here or other type of menu options that we have in our schools, it all involves healthy eating.” (Via CBN ) But what about protein, if kids aren’t eating any meat at school? “Plant based proteins are actually very healthy, they have no cholesterol.” (Via ABC ) Not all the children are happy about the change. According to the New York Post , one third grader said, “I already miss the meat we had a few months ago.” Children still have the option of eating meat if their parents pack it into their lunch boxes. New York public schools have undergone many changes under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Some schools now only serve whole-grain breads and pastas, and a thousand schools across the city now have salad bars.