COVINGTON - This week, the Newton County School System's food services department wants students to think about eating healthy lunches.
All of the schools are celebrating National School Lunch Week until Friday with special healthy menu items.
"We want to add a little excitement (to lunch) and get the students to try something new," said Susan Stone, school nutrition coordinator at NCSS.
Starting this week and possibly continuing throughout the rest of the school year, school lunches will include whole wheat tortilla wraps, whole wheat rolls and a new Veg-Out Turkey Wrap, which includes turkey, broccoli, cheese and light ranch dressing.
"Everything we serve already is nutritious ... but we wanted to do something special for National School Lunch Week," Stone said.
She said salads and wraps already are popular among students and hopes the newer options will catch on for those who choose to eat lunch at school.
Also this week, certain school lunches like salads and wraps will have a "BodyFIT" sticker on them - these items are targeted toward students who want something to "grab and go."
"We're trying to encourage them to grab a meal, even if they are in a hurry and don't feel like they have time," Stone said. "It will stand out to our middle- and high-schoolers as something fast ... but we are offering it to all students. ... We'd like to offer it to students who skip lunch altogether due to time constraints or at the high school level if they are starting to watch their weight."
BodyFIT items include a variety of salads and wraps and a yogurt, fruit and muffin plate.
If the new menu items are popular among students, the school food department could continue to offer them throughout the school year, in addition to other healthier choices.
"We're going to see how the students like them - we'll add a little bit at a time," Stone said. "We'll get feedback and talk to the managers - we have to test it first."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.