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AISD adding more healthy, global options to lunch menu

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District unveiled new lunch menu options Monday as it attempts to reinvent the school lunch experience for its students.

AISD’s 2019 menus will feature several global food options to introduce students to new foods and provide learning opportunities about different cultures.

AISD’s mango smoothie with yogurt and homemade granola (Photo: KXAN)

Some of the items AISD added to the menu for this school year will be a vegetarian manicotti, braised lentil tostada, and a mango smoothie made with local yogurt and homemade granola.

AISD will continue to offer a fresh salad bar to its students, an initiative that began several years ago.

“It’s so important that students have a nutritious meal. We want to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our diverse communities,” AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said.

Cruz had the opportunity to taste the district’s new menu options Monday at Dawson Elementary in south Austin while meeting with students and faculty.

Dr. Cruz eating lunch with AISD students and faculty on Monday (Photo: KXAN)

Dawson is one of more than 70 schools in the district that offers a free breakfast and lunch program to its students.

“We want to make sure that kids just feel comfortable…that all students are welcome in our schools and that we recognize their genius,” Cruz said. “Our school district is also the largest restaurant chain in the entire city of Austin. Every day we feed around 72,000 students that will go through our lunch programs so it’s a really big system, but it’s about providing different opportunities for our students.”

AISD Food Services provides meals to 129 campuses with a focus on expanding healthy food access, nutrition education and sustainability efforts.

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