Whole grain pancakes, rather than ones made from white flour mix, were served for the first time in New Haven Public Schools last Friday as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Whole Grain pilot project, which has helped fund the revamping of the lunch menu across the city this year. Under the direction of Tim Cipriano, who was hired in July to head the city’s public school dining program, lunch menus saw an overhaul, and now include whole wheat veggie pizza, veggie sticks, oven-roasted chicken and a daily option of 100 percent juice, low fat milk, vegetables and salad. Locally grown produce is also prioritized when available. “School lunches are one of the biggest ways that the federal government can influence children’s eating due to the sheer number of children who eat school lunch every day,” said Marlene Schwartz, senior research scientist at the Rudd Center.