CMS spicing up school lunches with new menu items

Behold, the "Char-Meck-A-Nator," is making a debut in CMS cafeterias.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For many, school lunches can be, well, bland. So this school year, the department of Child Nutrition Services at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is attempting to spice things up.

“We are just trying to keep it interesting,” said Margaret Cameron, the department’s nutritionist, who also holds the title of Wellness and Marketing Specialist.

Cameron says items new to the menu this year include banana bread, fresh melon, a spinach side salad, pork street-tacos and the 'Char-Meck-A-Nator.'

“It’s a beef patty with cheese baked in and it has a ketchup glaze, served on a whole grain bun,” says Cameron.

Complete with its own poster and video commercial posted on social media, the arrival of the new sandwich had social media abuzz Tuesday. Many parents took to Twitter and Facebook, some eating up the idea, saying their kids "loved it,” while others questioned its nutritional value.

“I don’t feel like it’s an inferior product, I feel like it’s a fun new twist,” Cameron said, adding that it is similar nutritionally to a regular cheeseburger. She also said many other options are always available.

“We have at least four different fruits and four different vegetables every day in every school,” she said.

CMS serves more than 100,000 meals each day. For many, it’s the only food they’ll eat. Cameron says by coming up with a “funny, kind of silly” name and using social media and posters to hype it up, she hopes students will get excited about lunch time.

“School lunches can be predictable. We’re just trying to keep it interesting,” she said.

Additional new menu items will be hitting lunch counters this October. Cameron gave us the inside scoop, saying a pulled-pork mac-and-cheese will be among them.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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