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Cows in the City

By
Sandy Danault ,   South High Community
Play:
Farm to School — Know Your Foods
Topics:
Access to Healthy Foods, Student Leadership,  Other
Cows in the City
We are blessed to have a top-notch Nutrition Department in our district that strives to bring delicious and nutritious food to our students. BIG changes are underway and our FUTP 60 student team had a fun role in the process. By hosting a Farm to School luncheon, we were able to learn about many of the foods produced so close to home. Students were able to put their hands on a cow (in the parking lot!) and begin to understand the process of where their food comes from. Our menu included lemongrass glazed grass-fed beef from a farm not 30 minutes from our school, cilantro brown rice and quinoa. Guests could choose from a plethora of toppings including black salsa, shredded carrots, tomato/cucumber salad, guacamole, and pickled jalapenos. The response to thses new menu items was off the charts! To top off the meal, students were able to create fresh fruit smoothies using a yogurt base and a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables. The winning smoothie recipe was "The Hulk" which included spinach and avocado. Everyone was so surprised that it was so delicious! While we were filling our bellies, Farmer Samantha and Farmer Matt gave us a snapshot of what their farming operations looked like. The kids asked great questions and then headed outside to check out the cows Farmer Matt brought with him. This was such a great day and so many kids are asking when we will do it again!

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

The students are very excited about being involved in menu changes for the breakfast and lunch program here at school. We are now working with our Nutrition Department to find ways that we can work together on future menu taste-tests. It would even be great to have the kids bring in family recipes to see if we can make them a part of our meal offerings! The ideas are flowing!!

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Our kitchen is very old and out of date. The kitchen staff lacks the proper equipment to make some of our meal ideas even happen. So we needed to prep and prepare our Farm to Table meal at another location and bring the food to the school. The solution for this problem is on the horizon as our new school is being built, with a newly equipped kitchen that will undoubtedly foster healthier eating options.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

I am seeing students care more about the food in front of them. There is a small decrease in the amount of wasted food and I believe it is because FUTP 60 students are spreading the word. They have a better understanding of where their food comes from, how hard farmers work to produce it and some of the benefits of eating healthier.