Vegetarian options are coming to school lunches

Kitchen staff at School Day Cafe showed students from Fair Oaks Elementary basic cooking techniques at a demonstration held at their Valencia facility Friday morning. February 07, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

School Day Cafe, which brings school meals to 36 elementary schools across four districts, will be adding two vegetarian entree options to school menus beginning March 1.

“Kids are aware of these alternative options,” said Robert Lewis, CEO for School Day Cafe. “They also show concern about animals and the environment; it’s a very different generation than the one I grew up in.”

The vegetarian options will include “cheesy pillow pull-aparts,” which are whole grain bread bites with cheese; and a “bonanza bean bowl,” which is made with brown rice, beans, cheese and tortilla chips.

Other vegetarian options already offered are yogurt with granola and the salad bar which is offered at the agency’s building.

The meatless entrees are not vegan, as they are made with cheese, but Lewis said the agency is looking into adding a vegan burrito option in the future.

Lewis said he, along with other employees at the agency, have been changing school menus to better fit the wants of students. “The students are our customers,” he added. “Many students have asked for non-meat options.”

Another change coming to school menus is a new pizza made with chicken, cheese and pesto sauce.

“Kids also mentioned wanting to move away from pepperoni pizza so they decided on chicken instead,” said Lewis.

The new chicken pizza will be offered on school menus beginning in April.

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