Local specialties take center stage in school lunches

From salmon skewers in Alaska to red chile beef enchiladas in New Mexico, local flavor is on the rise.

Teriyaki coho salmon skewers in Alaska. Red chile beef enchiladas in New Mexico. And Vietnamese pho soup in California.

Inspired by new nutrition rules, districts are now offering these and other meals in hopes of getting students to eat healthier by appealing to their taste buds. And rather than hiding the nutritious ingredients, schools are enthusiastically educating students about the health benefits of ingredients such as whole-grain breads and low-fat cheese.

Here are some examples of new dishes—and other strategies—districts are serving up so students will think of school meals as appetizing and healthy.