Midland Schools Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Friday marked the end of Texas Obesity Awareness Week, but Midland educators will continue their fight to keep kids fit.

"A balance in different food items, and a variety with as many nutrients available as possible are what we try to provide in the school meals," Patricia Mouser, the Director of M.I.S.D. Child Nutrition Services, said.

Come lunchtime, filling the cafeteria at Lamar Elementary really isn't a problem. Especially when it's pizza day. Not exactly the first thing you think of as heathly eating. Each slice, however, is made with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

"We study every food item very throughly," Mouser explained. "So a lot of planning goes into every menu that we have in the schools."

And what's on the menu is key at an early age, nutritionists say, as part of the two big ways to reduce the number of overweight and obese children.

"Physical activity and a good diet," Mouser said.

Midland educators said their plan for students to eat healthy is more than simply filling your tray. They said it's about being able to offer a variety of foods. Midland ISD officials say all of their diets are made low-fat. In the long run, they add it really is a good idea for children's health.

Mouser also said it's not just about offering more choices, but also getting back to cooking basics.

"So we are able to keep the costs down in making some of these products from scratch, and we also can control the nutritent analysis and know exactly what's in the product when we make it from scratch," Mouser explained.
     
Looking good, tasting good, and hopefully leading to a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

"I think the key is that these are good, sound meals and they're popular with children, so they eat them," Mouser added.