‘Build Your Own’ Options Offer More Scratch Made School Meal Choices

Following trends in popular restaurants and cafes, Hopewell Valley Regional School District  (NJ) has crafted an exciting and unique menu for students across the district’s six schools. Since scratch cooking was introduced into the food service department about five years ago, the menu selection has continued to grow each year, according to Food Service Director Denise Menza.

Grab N Go
Typical Grab n’ Go section featuring school lunch options in Hopewell Valley Regional School District (NJ).

The district adheres to the USDA guidelines while utilizing ingredients in creative ways, helping to entice students and staff with healthy and delicious meal offerings. Read more…

School Nutrition Directors Recognized Regionally For Excellence

The national non-profit, School Nutrition Association (SNA), has awarded the 2019 Regional Directors of the Year, celebrating individuals for their excellence in leadership and commitment to the school meal programs that thrive under their direction each day. Excelling at budgeting, professional training and leading cafeteria staff in great customer service, these Regional Director of the Year recipients ensure the overall success of their school meal programs and students’ school day. Read more…

Breakfast Service Options On the Rise at Whiteville City Schools

After implementing a universal free Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) program for its elementary and middle schools, Whiteville City Schools (NC) breakfast participation increased from 30 to 80 percent. Building off that success, Director of Nutrition Services Jamesie Gentry wanted to implement “Grab and Go” and “Second Chance Breakfast” options at the high school for the 2018-19 school year.

Whiteville went through a few different iterations before finding success in the ‘Grab and Go’ to the classroom model, which increased participation in its middle school from 30 to 80 percent. Read more…

New Year, Nu-trition: Schools Support Healthy Eating Resolutions

When looking to make healthier eating choices, it’s best to go right to the experts for tips! The same can be said for getting school-aged children to eat healthier in the New Year. The tried-and-true techniques school nutrition professionals have successfully used in the school cafeteria to get students to consume healthier food options can easily translate to good habits at home. Read more…

Maine Students Enjoy School Meals Made With Homemade Touch

Helping students in the school cafeteria feel like they’re eating mom’s homemade meals is an ongoing effort that York Schools Nutrition Department staff in Maine is very proud of. School cooks, menu planners and head chefs have worked tirelessly to provide menu options  – from scratch-made chicken pot pies to vegetarian sushi – that are made in-house with as many local ingredients as possible. Read more…

School Cafeterias Serve Up Holiday Cheer

School nutrition professionals take decorating their cafeterias as seriously as building their monthly menus – creating festive and welcoming environments for students to kick off the holiday season before winter break.

The famous Staunton City Schools (VA) Chef Santa watches over students as they fill their lunch trays with fruits.

Keeping with culinary arts and nutrition education messages, many cafeterias are decked out with food or cooking themes. Bulletin boards of Christmas trees, mischievous elves and playful snowmen can be seen spreading holiday cheer. Staunton City Schools (VA) have a Chef Santa who watches over the serving line, “checking twice” to make sure students are taking the proper servings of fruits and vegetables. In the School City of Hammond (IN), a red lunch tray ornament graces the food service manager’s tree, a gift from a holiday staff ornament party.

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Survey Prompts Major Updates to Nutrition Program

Wayzata Public Schools (MN) nutrition professionals spent the summer of 2018 overhauling the nutrition program in the district’s Culinary Express. They created new school menus, with delicious scratch-made recipes, including homemade chicken noodle and chicken wild rice soup, vegetable lo mein, spicy black beaned burgers, baked ziti and pork carnitas burrito bowls. 

While revamping the Culinary Express website, school nutrition staff worked with a local food hub and marketing company to help provide more opportunities for nutrition education, including new graphics, cafeteria posters, food mascots, etc. The innovative changes to their school nutrition program were prompted by survey feedback from parents and staff.

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