Orange County students decide their own school lunches at event

Students vote for their favorite menu options

Author: Kristin Giannas, Reporter, kgiannas@clickorlando.com
Phil Wheeker, ClickOrlando.com staff
Published On: Jan 22 2014 05:27:22 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 22 2014 07:31:48 PM EST
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Orlando, Fla. -

Vendors from around the country competed for over 400 Orange County students' approval Wednesday at the Orlando Science Center.

At the "kNOw food, kNOw Fun" student food show, students sampled and voted for their favorite food items to be placed on their school's lunch menu.

A few popular items were the fresh fruit smoothies and Peruvian chicken breast chunks. Orange County Public Schools made a concerted effort to have gluten-free and vegetarian food items represented at the show.

"For school lunch, they always have pizza, all the time, it's kind of ehh... it gets very sickening often," Ariadne Rivera of Howard Middle School said.

OCPS is one of the few districts in the country to require student taste testing for every menu item. They have now doubled participation in the program in the last 10 years.

"We've gone all the way through our filters of the cost and the nutrition, we wouldn't show the kids something we couldn't afford to put on the menu," Food and Nutrition Services Director Lora Gilbert said.