Kids are making healthy choices at the My Way Cafe, located inside their school in the Wayne Central School District in Ontario Center, New York. The district is gaining national attention for their innovative approach to customizing school lunches.
Students make their own combinations on their plates. Since federal nutrition standards mandate the amount of whole grains, veggies and fruits in school lunches, the Wayne CSD decided to build student choice into those lunches, resulting in less waste and healthier choices.
Students can make their own tacos, burgers, mac and cheese bowls, and more. Local farmers are supported, as the menu includes locally grown fresh produce. Finally, students help prepare some of the cafeteria food.
Since the My Way Cafe started, the number of students who eat fruits and vegetables has doubled, according to Wayne CSD food service director Nique Wilson.
“I spent some time researching, visiting other schools and studying the trends,” Wilson said. “We remodeled so that we were able to offer the My Way Cafe and what I saw is that if students, especially at a higher level are able to serve themselves they take their fruits and vegetables more.”