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Elementary School Adopts Meatless Cafeteria


An elementary school in New York City made history this January by becoming the first traditional public school in the country to adopt an entirely vegetarian menu.

“It’s very healthy and it makes your body strong,” one little boy told ABC News when asked whether he liked the meat-free fare.

Plus: Raising a Vegetarian Child

P.S. 244, the Active Elementary School, began serving vegetarian meals three days a week when it opened in 2008. When school officials saw students enjoyed the menu, they began offering vegetarian fare four days a week, then five.

“It’s been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it’s about what is the healthiest option for them,” principal Bob Groff said. “Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is.”

“The big thing I would like people to know is, this isn’t just about a vegetarian menu,” he later added.  ”It’s about living a healthy lifestyle and educating students on what options are out there.”

Plus: Going Vegan or Vegetarian in Time for Earth Day

On one recent afternoon, a “Fiesta Time” lunch menu included black bean and cheddar quesadilla with salsa, red roasted potatoes, cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit and assorted milk. The menu has to include sufficient protein and comply with USDA standards. If kids really want to eat meat, they are allowed to bring it from home.

Would you want your kids eating all vegetarian meals, or is P.S. 244's program going too far? Leave a comment.