10 Healthiest School Lunch Plans


Kenton County Schools, Kentucky

Sweet potato fries permitted
Sweet potato fries permitted
Inti St. Clair/Getty Images

The Kenton County School system is notable not just for its cafeteria menu, but for setting a good example for other schools. Kenton's food service director started small, removing fried potato chips and sugary fruit drinks from the cafeteria. Phasing out vending machines on school grounds was risky, as these machines provide much-needed revenue to schools.

However, in the absence of junk food, students began getting their lunches from the cafeteria line instead of the vending machines. This resulted in increased cafeteria sales and a subsequent increase in revenue. Other schools around the nation are looking at the success of Kenton County as a model for their own programs.

The school strives to offer foods that are kid-friendly but low in fat and rich in nutrients. Popular meals include pizza with a 50 percent whole grain crust and low-fat cheese, baked chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. The only choices for milk are 1 percent or skim, and fresh fruit and veggies are available each day.