Back in April, Public School 244 in Flushing, Queens became the first elementary school in the U.S. to offer students a completely vegetarian menu. Six months later, the benefits of this healthy change cannot be denied.
Instead of chicken fingers and hamburgers, the school offers delicious-sounding meals, like black bean and cheddar quesadillas, organic roasted tofu, veggie wraps and felafel. There are no vending machines full of sugary sodas or high-calorie snacks on school property. Students are also required to attend a weekly class about making healthy food choices.
School officials have reported that since swapping meat for vegetarian fare, the kids have longer attention spans and better academic scores. The number of students classified as overweight has dropped 2% as well.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an advocacy group that promotes plant-based diets, commended the staff at PS 244 for teaching their students to be "food literate."
"We believe that [students] achieve better when they have healthier food choices and are educated about those food choices," said Principal Bob Groff.
We hope other elementary schools learn from PS 244, and even if they don't adopt a strictly vegetarian menu, it's never too early to teach young children about nutrition!
This is awesome. Maybe more schools will start transitioning.