As we continue this week's look at Back to School, we take you inside one area's school cafeteria to see what they're serving students for lunch.
Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee spent the day at Albany Elementary in Utica.
Each lunch tray had at least one fresh fruit or vegetable and many students finished what was on their plates. But, the Food Service Director at Utica City School District says healthier options are nothing new for the students.
"I always tell her you have to eat your fruits, your vegetables and your grains. And now she sees it at school too so it's much easier," said Daisy Cruz.
Cruz is a parent of two children who attend school in the UCSD. Daisy says her oldest daughter, now a senior at Proctor High School never had the lunch options her youngest daughter has today at Albany Elementary.
"Fresh fruits, beans... They didn't have that. It was a lot of french fries. Now it's more whole wheat whole grain," explained Cruz.
Mary Kay Vandreason, the Food Service Director for the school district says this year, they are mandated to implement healthier choices. But, Mrs. Vandreason says they took the initiative to change the menus last school year.
"They're calling it a single food based menu plan where they are required to take either a fruit or vegetable. Either one has to be on their plate this year," said Vandreason.
The school also has included whole grains as well as beans into the school menu. Parents and students are provided a menu each month to see what's for lunch. Daisy says she is happy to see the healthier choices. She says it's also a way to introduce her daughter to new foods.
"The french fries they had yesterday they were sweet potatoes instead of the french fries, she says she tried them and they were really good," said Cruz.
The Utica City School District also has gotten rid of two percent milk and is now offering only fat free or 1 percent skim milk.