Moncton schools move to healthier cafeteria menus

The Anglophone East School District has adopted a new food policy following the success of a two-year program at French schools.

Students have more fresh, locally produced items from which to choose

Most of the 15,000 students in the Anglophone East School District have healthier choices at school cafeterias this fall. 

The district has adopted a new food policy at 25 schools, following the success of a two-year program at francophone schools. 

Today's balanced meal: homemade lasagne and green salad. (Theresa O'Leary/CBC)
Fresh produce and other food is being delivered from local farmers and food producers, so cafeteria staff can use it to prepare meals on site.

At Edith Cavell School in Moncton, students in kindergarten to Grade 8 have had access to the healthier menu for about three weeks.

I think it was long overdue.- Donna Arsenault , principal at Edith Cavell School

Nolan Fougere-Richardson, 8, was first in line Monday to buy some homemade lasagne and fresh green salad.

"I love lasagne and it has protein in it," said Fougere-Richardson. 

Nolan Fougere-Richardson is happy to eat healthy, homemade lasagne and salad made with local ingredients. (Theresa O'Leary/CBC)
Donna Arsenault, the school's principal, says teachers and students are impressed with the healthier options on the new menu.

She said the change was "long overdue."

"Years ago I would eat at [the] cafeteria myself, but stopped eating at our cafeteria a few years ago," she said. 

"It was prepackaged, sodium-enriched foods and I just didn't think it was healthy for me. Since this new menu came out, I am changing my lunch habits and eating in our school cafeteria."

Arsenault says she isn't sure how many students in her school will be buying the new food choices.

Edith Cavell has students from many low-income families so a $5 lunch is a treat for some of these children, as opposed to a daily choice, according to the principal.

Arsenault says she expects to hear feedback from parents at a school meeting on Tuesday night. 

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