Amarillo parents question new school a la carte menu

Amarillo parents question new school a la carte menu.

Some Amarillo parents are upset after a new a la carte menu was sent home with their kids. This menu is from Avondale Elementary and features five items.

These items include: cookies, chips, muffins, s'mores and brownies and that is it.

Students can use cash to purchase these additional items or money that is on their lunch account.

"We try to teach them that it's good to have a balance and we also teach them that it's ok to have things like junk food every once in awhile... just not all the time," said Rhoda Breeden, parent of two at Avondale.

Rhoda and her husband Jacob Breeden have two daughters at Avondale. They were upset seeing the a la carte menu that just started as an option for their kids on a regular basis.

"It wasn't sent home to us as an option to say 'would you like your kids to participate in this?' Nor did that list have anything that was even remotely healthy on it," said Jacob Breeden.

Another parent whose kids go to different schools in the District says she tries to teach her kids how to eat nutritionally but school lunches make that hard.

"Now you have an option to buy it on your own and I'm not being able to control what you're eating; this is a little bit bigger deal," said Traci Mahannah, mother of two in AISD. "So do I quit sending money to school? Do I continue to educate her?"

We asked AISD's Director of Child Nutrition how important nutritious food is to the District.

"We try to provide not only nutritious meals but delicious and safe foods for the kids," said Matt Buck, Director of Child Nutrition. "So nutrition is one of our biggest focuses here at AISD."

He tells ABC 7 the standards are higher than usual for the a la carte snacks.

"I'd love to just assure parents and everyone here in the district that all of these products that we offer at all of our schools have gone through the smart snack calculator," said Buck. "They meet or exceed all of the federally regulated guidelines and they are a healthier alternative to other snacks."

He says each school's menu is posted on AISD's website.

Parents can also see what their kids order on their accounts, but this is after the food has already been eaten.

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