OZARK, Mo. – Students attending Ozark elementary schools tasted and voted on a veggie dish to be added to the weekly lunch menu.
Furrowed eyebrows and big grins were just a few of the reactions children attending Ozark elementary schools had as they tried stir fry vegetables for the first time. Students tasted the dish and then placed a sticker under either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down colmn. If the veggies had at least a 50% approval rating, the dish will be added to the regular menu.
“We started doing this last year just to try and get some feedback from the students,” said Director of Nutrition Services for the Ozark School District. “We have noticed that, especially at the elementary levels, a lot of the vegetables were going in the trash.”
Hosting taste tests for the students allows them to have a voice in what meals make it on the lunch menu, while still complying with nutrition standards.
Fourth grader Merek prefers tri-tip steak to stir fry vegetables, but he enjoyed the dish nonetheless, “It didn’t really have that much flavor, but there is something about it that I really like. I’ll probably give it a thumbs up.”