The sign in thedining hall, which serves students and mentors—as well as the public—in central Austin says simply, “Nature is our menu planner.”
At Integrity Academy kids ages three to thirteen experience lunch time and snack time as opportunities “to commune over food in a public setting, with manners and reverence,” says Executive Director Ali Ronder. As beautifully shown in a recent video (above), they use real dishes, glassware, and cloth napkins instead of styrofoam trays and plastic sporks. The kids also help to grow their own food in an organic garden, including a “rainbow garden,” where they are currently planting the red end of the spectrum, including strawberries.
Students learn about nutrition in twice weekly classes, making yummy snacks like banana “sushi” and blueberry smoothies. Ali says that taco day is everyone’s favorite, but all the lunches on the weeklyare tasty, colorful, and vegan.
Celebrating Integrity Academy’s dedication to serving students plant-based, healthy, organic meals, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recently awarded the school a “Golden Carrot” and a prize of $750.
“Not only are these foods helping students stay focused and energized in the classroom, but they’re also reducing long-term risk for chronic diseases,” according to Physicians Committee dietician Karen Smith.