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What's for lunch?

Rochester/Gates N.Y. -- David Brown said serving it up right is important because for many kids in the Rochester School District, breakfast and lunch at school, may be the only meals they get.

Brown is Director of Food Services for the district. He said the focus for school districts this year is meeting USDA requirements for more whole grains and fresh fruit.

The district has hired a nutritionist and is working with its Executive Chef to test new recipes for foods that meet the standards and also have lower sodium, fat and cholesterol.

Next year districts will be required to use 100-percent grain bread and pasta products.

New in the city this year, some kids at three pilot schools will be given a First-Class lunch in the classroom. They will get their choice of pancakes, omelettes and other hot meals served  by cafeteria staff right at their desks.

The hope is that this will entice more kids to come to school and boost enrollment.

The district hopes to expand that to other schools.

In Gates, workers are also busy in the kitchen getting ready for the start of the school year.

Debbi Beauvais is Supervisor of Nutrition for the district. She said "kids eat with their eyes."

Beauvais said they have to be offered foods that look good, so they will try them.

Beauvais said it takes 15 tastes before children determine if they like something. She encourages her staff to re-introduce foods that may not go over well the first time.

New in Gates and other districts this fall, a "made-your-way station", where students can get a wrap or sandwich, exactly as they like it. That way Beauvais said, they are more likely to eat it.

In Webster, students will also have a flavor station, where they can add their favorite spices, so the food tastes the way they like it.

Patrice Walsh, 13WHAM-TV
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