LANCASTER COUNTY, N.C. – School officials in Lancaster County are helping parents take the guesswork out of packing healthy lunches.

A new program is aimed at giving students a tasty and healthy alternative to what they’ve had in years past. And as any parent knows, it can be hard for kids to choose carrots over potato chips when it’s time to eat.

“Every year, we try to make lunches a little bit healthier,” said Angela McCrorey, director of food services for Lancaster County Public Schools. “They don’t know what we’re doing, but we actually are looking at what they’re bringing from home, and we want to try to imitate that.”

What officials quickly realized was that the kids were bringing in portable meals, such as Lunchables. So, the school opted to offer more grab-and-go options for students. McCrorey says the meals are catered more toward elementary students, and they’re hopeful the children will find something that not only suits their tastes but meets their nutritional needs, as well.

There are 10 options available this school year, including one vegetarian selection.

“We’re trying to get more up to date and innovative,” McCrorey explained.

To put in perspective how many meals schools are serving, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said they estimate they’ll serve 40,000 breakfasts and 94,000 lunches this school year. CMS officials said they’re adding multiple new menu items, such as banana bread at breakfast, as a way to incorporate fruits and vegetables at every meal.