Students in the Mexican state of Veracruz will be eating fewer animal products in schools after the state’s Ministry of Education signed a “Conscious Monday” agreement that will recommend serving no animal products in public schools on Mondays.

The agreement comes in collaboration with the groups Mercy for Animals and Come Consciente (“Eat Consciously”). The new program will provide support to schools to reduce their use of animal products by 20 percent.

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Mexico has an epidemic of childhood obesity, with nearly 35 percent of Mexican adolescents found to be overweight or obese in 2012. Mexicans also drink even more soda than Americans on average – the average Mexican drinks 46 gallons of soda and sugary drinks each year.

Veracruz’s Ministry of Education has created a recipe book focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. The state asked parents what foods were popular and culturally appropriate in their communities, and created selections of seasonal, plant-based recipes for different regions.

The new program, which is reminiscent of Meatless Monday initiatives in other parts of the world, is expected to serve up about 925,000 plant-based meals annually.

Looking For Healthy Lunch Ideas?

Want to have your own Meatless Monday? Send your kids to school with some of these nutritious recipes from the Food Monster App!

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Oil-free Kale-Edamame Hummus

Try this Oil-free Kale-Edamame Hummus for a fun way to get some vegetables into your kids’ lunches.

Quinoa and White Bean Burger

This Quinoa and White Bean Burger is packed with protein and fiber, and it’s delicious too!

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Orange Cauliflower

Kids will love the fun color of this Orange Cauliflower, and it’s good for them too.

Looking for more lunch ideas? Download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can be found on Instagram and Facebook. This app contains thousands of delicious vegan recipes, and subscribing will give you access to new ones each day!

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