Slowing Down School Food

Many parents have more than likely heard, “…the cafeteria food is different… I’m not sure I like it.”  And - it’s true!  Our menus reflect our work that we continue with to introduce our students to new scratch recipes from healthy, wholesome and sometimes local foods. 

Why are we doing this… shouldn’t we be offering our kids “kid friendly” food? 

We believe in “people food” for people, “horse food” for horses and “rabbit food” for rabbits.  The food marketing industry has done a remarkable job of convincing the adults and children, that kids need different foods than adults… this simply isn’t true – or healthy.  The earlier children are introduced to a variety of foods, the broader taste palette they will develop, hence a healthier diet and life they will have. The scratch food is easier on the digestive system, contains far less chemicals, sodium and preservatives than processed foods. 

What can parents do to support the school nutrition staff efforts?

Think about how you can incorporate some scratch cooking into your family meals – a basic home-cooked meal can take as little as ½ hour to prepare.  Start simple and easy, save the more extravagant culinary recipes to test on the weekends.  Ask your children to come into the kitchen and have them help with the meal preparation –even if it’s just something as simple as setting the table or peeling carrots.  Anyway you can get them to participate in the activity will encourage them to be an active participant in trying new foods. 

Dina Berray, Cook Supervisor, tests a new winter recipe with students, Sage Chicken Breast.