Annual East Texas Food Show and Tasting draws large attendance

Annual East Texas Food Show and Tasting draws large attendance to explore savory items

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -Students, teachers, and administrators had a unique opportunity to weigh in on school lunch menus on Tuesday.

The 8th annual Region 5 East Texas Food Show and Tasting brought in vendors from across the county to the Pitser Garrison Convention Center to explore savory items.

Students walked around 60 or more booths tasting a variety of dishes which were all made with school food regulations in mind.

The show even has a rating system where guests can rank how each bite stacks up, which, later will be considered by the student nutrition services directors of each school.

“Kids are pretty savvy these days. They’re eating out a lot, so they want their school menu to read a lot like a fast food menu,” said Amanda Calk, a registered dietitian with Lufkin ISD. “But we don’t have the luxury of having all of the items prepared exactly like a fast food restaurant. We can’t fry, we have to have whole grain product, low fat, low sodium. So a lot of these manufacturers have done a really good job at making these items that comply with those guidelines yet they taste good.”

Calks says the whole point of school lunch is for kids to eat the food, rather than dump it in the garbage.

“It’s not nutrition if it ends up in the trash can,” Calk said.

Close to 400 people attended the food show.

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