"Pizza and hot dogs and corn dogs -- that's carnival food," said Betti Wiggins, HISD Officer of Nutrition Services. "Those are foods that we shouldn't be talking about to represent a good diet that's nutritious to our kids."
The district brought Betti Wiggins on a few months ago and she vows to change the way students approach nutrition.
Wiggins, also known as "the rebel lunch lady," has received prestigious awards for her work in Detroit Public School and transforming the Detroit Child Nutrition Program.
"Getting kids to eat things that people say they won't eat, that's what moves me," said Wiggins.
She says one of her claims to fame in Detroit is taking chocolate milk off the lunch menu but she says she plans to "go slow on that one" here in Houston.
Wiggins calls hot dogs, pizza and corn dogs "carnival food" and she plans to take them off the menu as well and trade them with things like more vegetables, fresh fruits, salad, kale, beets and heirloom tomatoes.
The district recently cancelled their contract with the food service giant Aramark, shifting away from steam tables to a more fresh and local approach. She says healthy, sustainable, local foods are the backbone of what she says should be on students' lunch trays.
"I'm not trying to compete with Jack in the Box or any of those things." said Wiggins "The point is to provide kids with calories so we can stave off infection. So they aren't all sleepy in class because we gave them a big set of fries."
Wiggins says her mission is to teach students nutrition but also food literacy.
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