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South Bay : School Offers Students Healthy Lunch Choices

While some schools across the country have invited McDonald’s and Pizza Hut into their cafeterias as alternatives to more institutional fare, Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach is marching to a different . . . er, lunch bell.

For just over a month, students have found healthy offerings of salads, fruit and low-fat entrees next to the traditional cafeteria staples of French fries, fish sticks and cheese burgers.

“There are a lot of schools offering high-fat diets, and we wanted to be different by offering low-fat foods to kids as well as their other choices,” said Carl Dreizler of the Beach Cities Health District, which is co-sponsoring the Food For Thought program.

The yearlong pilot program is aimed at not only providing healthier food but also teaching students the benefits of a nutritious diet.

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Along with their regular curriculum, freshmen in gym classes and juniors in health courses are schooled on which foods are healthy and why they’re good for growing teen-agers.

Most of the funding for the $50,000 program comes from the health district, which provides money for wellness and fitness programs in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

The program is expected to spread to four elementary schools in Manhattan Beach by March.


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