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Healthier, Fresher Cafeteria Options In Keller ISD

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KELLER (CBS11) – If you’re a little older you might think back to your school cafeteria and remember tough pizza in boxes or burgers thawed and warmed in an oven.

There is a new recipe for food service in many schools today.

“What do you want?” the cafeteria server at Caprock Elementary in Keller asked the young girl with an empty trey standing in line.

It’s a question the company running Keller ISD’s cafeterias asked its customers — the students.

Feedback from Keller’s kids helped shape how cafeterias operate in Sodexo’s 500 school districts nationwide.

“We did get feedback from some of our students and they wanted a griddled burger so we have all these cooked fresh on the griddle,” said Ron Gomez, Director of Business Development for Sodexo. “We also have fruits and vegetables that they want because we got feedback on that as well.”

Much of the food is now made in house and healthier thanks to student preferences and ever-changing federal nutrition regulations. And it’s marketed in a cafeteria called The Clubhouse. There are bright signs on the wall and on the food line. Even the food is arranged to be colorful so instead of several trays of green vegetables there are greens next to red and orange food.

“It’s really good and they’re healthy,” said third grader Drew Stohl. “When I go up there I can tell that it is healthy by the look of it.”

“Kids are starting to pick up on that,” Stahl’s father Brian said. “Especially at this age.”

The food servers are finding more kids leaving the lunchbox at home.

“I’d rather eat at the club house,” Drew Stahl said. “Because their food is better sometimes!”

Thanks to the feedback, the company finds the people it’s feeding are much more satisfied.

“He just said the burger tastes better than a McDonald’s hamburger,” Brian Stahl said. “Coming from a third grader that’s pretty impressive!”

Sodexo uses the same method of gathering feedback from all levels of schools in the district. So, the food and designs change to match the tastes of the students as they grow older.

Caprock Elementary in Keller ISD (Joel Thomas)

Caprock Elementary in Keller ISD (Joel Thomas)

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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