NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — From fish sticks to fish tacos, from pizza to pizza tacos - school lunches are changing. The New York State Nutrition Association has determined the latest trends in Western New York. They're focused on healthy lunches and locally sourced goods.
"School lunches have become a science more than they ever have before," said Mark Laurrie, superintendent of Niagara City Schools.
Lunches have gotten fancier and more fun. The challenge is fitting in all the required nutrients while pleasing pick eaters - and there are some tricks to the trade.
"These [french fries] are completely different than the fries I ate growing up, becuase these aren't fried. They're baked," Jason Bloch from McCain Fries said.
McCain Fries has a line of fries grown in Batavia, N.Y.
"It's a real good win win not only for the nutritional value of our kids but for our local farming industry," said Laurrie.
New York Schools can now participate in an incentive program which gives the schools benefits for featuring local foods - from apples to milk going from New York farm to New York cafeteria.
"It gives us a place for our milk to go," Beth White said. She and her son own Gasport View Dairy Farms in Gasport, N.Y.
She said she knows her grandson drinks safe milk at her house and at his school because it's from Western New York.
"I think it's important for children to get the best nutrition and because we're on the farm and we know how well we're taking care of our cows and how important it is to keep things clean," White said.
Laurrie said that's one of the great benefits of the incentive program.
"Some of those people that work in the industry are the parents of our children too," Laurrie said.