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Lunch ladies are heroes in West Carrollton

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WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WRGT) -- Some kids might not be looking forward to going back to school, but one thing all kids get excited for is lunch.

Mike Joyce and Natalie Lizarraga took a trip to one local school to check out what new additions have been made to your child's menu.

The USDA and the National School Lunch Program has set the bar pretty high when it comes to school lunches.

“Sodium, whole grains, we have to do whole grains,” said Tina Pett of Harold Schnell School in West Carrollton. “We have to watch calories, we have to do vegetable subgroups every week. We have to offer a starch one day, we have to offer dark greens one day, we have offer beans one day.”

With all these requirements, someone has to put all the meals together, and for Harold Schnell School that job falls on Tina Pett and her team of dedicated lunch ladies.

The menus are designed to meet nutritional guidelines, but with kids that isn't always an easy task.

“Chicken, they like chicken and they like pizza. Today we have beans, we have black beans, as the beans and lentils for the week, now it’s not their favorite, but we just keep trying," Pett said.

That effort seems to be paying off.

Year ago, the job of lunch lady might have been seen as a thankless job, but not anymore and certainly not at Harold Schnell School for Miss. Tami, one of the school’s cooks.

“It makes our day when we are out shopping for food and kids come up and hug us, or the parents,” Miss Tami said. “I have had parents come up and say, ‘oh there’s the lunch lady.”

Every day they manage to meet the USDA requirements, sneak in some key proteins and veggies, all while leaving the kids wanting more. That makes Pett and her team the cafeteria heroes.

“We need to get the shirts that say, ‘I’m a lunch lady, what’s your super power?’” Miss Tami said.

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