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Back to school: What's inside your children's school meals?

Kids carry trays with food at Jefferson Elementary School in Bakersfield, Calif., Aug. 16, 2017. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Reyna Harvey)

The Bakersfield City School District welcomed back their students with an important message about nutrition and health.

The district serves 12,000 breakfasts, 26,000 lunches and 8,000 snacks a day.

The meals are all organized, including each major food group, and are funded through USDA and other grants.

Beginning Thursday, each school will introduce a salad bar for students to choose their own lettuce and veggie combination.

The schools base their portion size for each student on their grade level.

Twenty-three schools in the district have a fresh fruits and vegetables program that allow students to try new meal items inside their classroom.

"Planning for the lunches means that you have to make sure that everything we serve is meeting the USDA and California Department of Education regulations as far as what we offer the children," said Brenda Robinson of the district's nutrition services.

The schools don't keep a record of the students' waste, but they are in the process of creating a recycling program with the Department of Public Health.

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