Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, explains the wellness policy deals with what they serve in the cafeterias and the lineup of food and what is available in vending machines. "We have eliminated high sugar, carbonated drinks from vending machines, because it would be cynical if we don't offer in our cafeterias but in for-profit entities would be selling it to vending machines". The wellness policy is also about physical education, health and nutrition literacy, and preventive healthcare.
Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, says 220,000 kids in Miami-Dade qualify for free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch, and that is an indication of the level of poverty that they have in the community. "We told parents to come to school early enough and if the kid rides the bus tell them that the first stop at school, early in the morning, should be the cafeteria for a free healthy nutritious breakfast."
Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, explains it is research-based that kids who are unhealthy (physically, emotionally, or psychologically), and hungry do not have the same readiness for learning as healthy kids. He also points out they allow every single kid to access to healthy nutritious food, because that helps eliminating a lot of the precursors to academic gaps. "Whether kids arrive at school early or not, the access to food is a right that they possess, and I want parents to be aware of this."
Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, says they are trying to bring food products that are appealing to kids, never losing the cultural aspect of eating in Miami. "It is tasty, kids identify with it. We protect the cultural aspect of the community we live in, and it is fun to eat it." For example, they get to choose one entree between Italian style meatball marinara sub, 3 bean chili, and salads or turkey wraps.