A “Conscious Monday” agreement in accordance with Eat Consciously and Mercy for Animals has been signed by the state of Veracruz’s Ministry of Education on March 16th, 2018. The program helps schools swap 20% of animal products for plant-based ingredients on their lunch menus, and suggests that no meals containing animal products be served on Mondays.

The intention behind this program is to amp up the nutritional quality of the student’s meals in an effort to prevent malnutrition and childhood obesity. The desire to create healthy meals became imperative after a study published in the Global Health Action Journal. The study stated that Mexico had one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world and that unhealthy school lunches filled with fat and processed ingredients could be the culprit.

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The Conscious Monday agreement began after the Ministry of Education developed a recipe book accentuating the many uses of fruits and vegetables. An additional program called “Healthy Lifestyles” surveyed parents across the state to pinpoint popular and appropriate foods. This information was used to put together plant-based recipes that served the community’s cultural varieties while utilizing seasonal produce.

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

The plant-based recipes developed during the above process are now going to be used by school cafeterias in Veracruz. This means that approximately 925,000 vegan meals a year will be served in their schools! 

Not only will these changes help fight childhood obesity while providing students with the nutrition they need to excel mentally and physically, but this new program will cut costs.  Due to the cost-effective nature of fruits and vegetables compared to animal products, schools will be saving money while reducing their environmental impact. 

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The future looks bright for Veracruz school districts!

Looking for healthy, vegan lunch ideas?

If you are in the market for new recipes to pack for lunch or take to work or school, check out these healthy recipes from our Food Monster App!

Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil, and Spinach Pinwheels

These Sun-dried Tomato, Basil, and Spinach Pinwheels are fun to eat, flavorful, and a healthy alternative to overly processed packaged meals.

Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich

Nothing says lunchtime like a Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich. The fiber and the protein from the chickpeas will also keep you feeling full and energized for the rest of your school or work day!

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Raw Chocolate Brownie Balls

What’s lunch without a little dessert? These Raw Chocolate Brownie Balls are rich and decadent, but without refined sugar that can leave you crashing later in the afternoon.

For more healthy lunch ideas, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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Lead Image Source: Farm to Institution/Flickr