Chicken teriyaki bowl ingredient list as emailed by the WCCUSD Nutrition Center: Diamond Crystal Teriyaki Sauce, ground ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, chicken breast and thigh fajita strips (2 oz), Uncle Ben’s brown rice (1 cup), soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, mixed vegetables.
The "megafruit cup" is served to middle school and high school students.
“It looks like machines made it because everything’s all wrapped up in plastic,” said Yaneli Martinez, 13.
Although this caesar salad trumps a McDonald's Big Mac in calories, sodium, and grams of fat, the item on the lunch menu with the most calories is a special called the "Chicken BBQ and Mac and Cheese" which contains 961 calories, 2599 mg of sodium, and 32 grams of fat.
Part of the October elementary school lunch menu. The lunches must average 650 calories or less per week under new regulations.
From the WCCUSD high school lunch menu; The number of items a student can take is limited based on their grade level in order to meet calorie requirements.
From the middle school lunch menu. Middle and high school menus change every three months, unlike elementary school menus which change monthly.
“Just because we offer all the healthy options doesn’t mean that the kids are utilizing all those options,” district nutrition specialist Susan Liles said.
“I get water, but I never drink it,” said Nia Alexander, an 8th grader at Lovonya DeJean Middle School. Water is an optional item.
"One of the things I do look in is the garbage cans. I see the kids eating more of the lunch now than I have in the past," said Barbara Jellison, director of food services. The district is required to serve an entree and two sides to the students even if they don't want it in order to get reimbursed by the government. Middle and elementary school students must be served a fruit and a vegetable, while high school students may be served two fruits instead.
“Last year all the food had hecka grease on it,” said Lovonya DeJean Middle School student Yeslia Valencia. “It’s healthier than the food I eat at home.”
"I haven’t really gotten any negative comment.” – Barbara Jellison, WCCUSD director of food services.
One of the biggest complaints the district received from kids was when they stopped serving mayonaise to meet the new standards. But adjustments were made to the menu so it could be included again, said nutrition specialist Susan Liles.
A Big Mac from McDonald's contains 550 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1000 mg of sodium. By comparison, a caesar salad served by the district contains 557 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 1107 mg of sodium (roll over bottom left for full nutritional information). Here, Richmond High School junior Misael Valdivia brings three McChicken meals for his friends.