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What's in a pre-schoolers lunch? Hummus & quinoa | News

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What's in a pre-schoolers lunch? Hummus & quinoa

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -It can be hard to get your kids to eat healthy, breaking the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese habit can seem overwhelming, but it can be done with a little help.

A West Michigan restaurant is changing the taste buds of some pre-schoolers and kindergartners and their doing it with a menu of hummus, sweet potato chips and chicken Caesar stuffed pitas.

Tucked a way in downtown Muskegon is a little restaurant called Mia & Grace.

"Every single item we create is made from scratch start to finish.", owner Jaime Paquin and her husband Jeremy started the restaurant about four years ago, based on farm fresh, organic food.

And they've made a commitment to making sure their customers are getting an eating experience that's full of natural flavor,"On an average day we serve anywhere from 60 to 125 people."

But when the doors close another part of their day begins,"After we close at 5pm on weekdays we clear everything off the table and start preparing the school lunches at that time."

Organic, fresh, made from scratch school lunches for 40 pre-schoolers and kindergartners,"As much as I can get local I do. Today's lunch is a whole wheat pita with chicken a ceasar pita."

For a small fee Jaime makes the lunches every day and tries to help the kids develop a taste for healthy foods,"Kids eat with their eyes first we try to make all of the lunch boxes fun they can eat with their hands."

It's part of a pilot program with the Reeths-Puffer School District and Pennsylvania Elementary.

Admittedly, there are a few picky eaters who get rewarded with a high-five just for trying something new.

But most of the kids give the lunch a thumbs up, they like eating different kinds of food.

"I think if we can hit these kids at a young age and teach them healthy eating habits the benefit of that is going to be huge down the road." says Paquin.

The menu changes every day. Jamie says the kids love hummus day which includes a lot of fresh veggies and they've even tried quinoa.

The school has applied for a grant to help them grow their own garden which will be incorporated into their lunches too.


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