NEW YORK (FOX5NEWS) - Elementary school students at P.S. 244 in Flushing, Queens, are full of life. And it might have something to do with what they're eating. The school, which is pre-K to third grade, is vegetarian. The meals have no meat, no chicken and no seafood. Everything is plant-based. They even have a salad bar with broccoli and carrots.
"We notice that after lunch, the students don't have the same lull in energy," principal Robert Groff says.
P.S. 244 phased in the vegetarian diet and coupled it with education to teach the students and their parents about the health benefits. About 80 percent of the students eat the school lunch.
"It could be chickpea pasta, but there is a wide variety of options," Groff says.
The other 20 percent bring food from home.
It claims to be the first public school in the country to serve strictly vegetarian lunches. And if you think it's more expensive to serve a vegetarian lunch, the principal says think again. He claims that the school's costs are the same or they would not be able to serve the vegetarian lunches.
Nutritionist Lisa Drayer says it is important to note that the meals are vegetarian and not vegan.
"Dairy provides calcium which is important for growing bones so we don't want to exclude dairy in childrens' diets," Drayer says.