Long Beach grown-ups give cafeteria food a taste test

Long Beach grown-ups give cafeteria food a taste test
The purpose is to show parents how cafeteria food has taken on a healthier twist and to encourage families to eat together. (Photo source: WLOX)
The purpose is to show parents how cafeteria food has taken on a healthier twist and to encourage families to eat together. (Photo source: WLOX)
One Long Beach school cafeteria was packed with parents today. (Photo source: WLOX)
One Long Beach school cafeteria was packed with parents today. (Photo source: WLOX)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Lunch time turned into a family affair for children at one Long Beach school. Wednesday was National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. It was a chance for the school to show parents that the taste, look and bad rap over cafeteria food have changed.

Cafeteria food might sound unappetizing for some people, but this week, grown-ups are lining up to purchase a meal.

To celebrate National School Lunch Week, Reeves Elementary invited parents and other family members to join their little ones for lunch. The only catch was they had to give the no fried and fresher cafeteria food a try.

"You'll do anything for your grand babies," said one woman.

"We serve a lot more fruits and vegetables, all whole grains, low-fat foods. A lot of parents don't realize what we do here in the cafeteria, so we want them to see it and to taste it," said School Nutrition Administrator Deedee Hurt.

As the adults munched on beef tacos and chicken wraps, many of them gave the food rave reviews.

"I really enjoyed it. The salad and the grilled chicken, it was excellent," said Donna Martocci, who came to eat lunch with her niece. "It has changed since my day. It's more balanced, nutritious."

"It's pretty good. It's a little healthier. They have a better selection, I would say, than when I was in school," said Whitney Lyons.

Tiffany Mallett watched her daughter, Olevia Bass, tackle her taco. Mallett didn't even eat cafeteria food when she was in school.

"I wanted to try it. She eats here sometimes, and sometimes she brings her lunch. So, just to see what they were eating. It's great. I get to spend time with her. I love it. The food's good, a little messy, but good," said Mallet.

"She gets to spend some time with me, because she works all the time," said Olevia.

That was another sweet bonus of the program; bringing families together to share a lunchtime meal.

"It's exciting. It makes him happy, so it's a good time to come down, spend a few minutes with him while I'm off work," said Lyons.

"It makes me happy, and I like when she comes and eats with me and I can pick one of my friends to sit by me," said her 6-year-old son, Zaiden Lyons.

On Thursday, the second graders at Reeves will get to eat lunch with their parents, and the third graders will get their turn on Friday.

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