Schools offer more vegetarian options

According to the School Nutrition Association (SNA), more school districts are offering vegetarian options. The association says that new data reveals 64% of school nutrition programs offer a vegetarian option on a consistent basis, which is an increase of 42 percentage points from 2003, when 22% of districts reported offering vegetarian options consistently.

SNA has tracked vegetarian options in schools since 2003, as part of its School Nutrition Operations Report. The report is based on surveys from 1,200 school nutrition directors across the county. The report also found that 21% of districts offer a vegan meal option. Vegetarian and vegan meal options are most commonly found in high schools.

"The availability of vegetarian school lunches in a majority of districts is consistent with the overall trend in the past five years toward more nutritious school lunches emphasizing whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy," SNA said in a press release.