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10 Healthiest School Lunch Plans

Berkeley Unified School District, California

The Berkeley School District is home to the original "Edible Schoolyard," a concept created by famed restaurateur Alice Waters. Beginning with the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, several schools in the district planted one-acre gardens on school grounds. Teachers used the garden to teach students about local food, biology, nutrition and science. Students and teachers tended the gardens together during special classes. They learned about different vegetables and herbs by taste testing their harvest. The idea was that if the children were more invested in where their food came from, they'd be more willing to experiment and make healthier food choices.

That hunch was correct. Parents began calling, reporting that their children were requesting things like jicama (a sweet root vegetable) for supper [source: Finz].

Next, the cafeteria banned processed food and began preparing meals from scratch. Food service staff takes care to purchase as much local, organic food and ingredients as possible. Students can supplement their meals with the all-you-can-eat salad bar. Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are popular as well.