Tray Talk has highlighted the many responsibilities school nutrition professionals juggle – from meeting complex nutrition standards to following strict food safety requirements. But the women and men working in our school kitchens bring so much more to the table. School nutrition professionals can get students excited about trying healthier foods, while making school cafeterias a fun and welcoming place.
School Nutrition Employee Week (May 7-11) is a great time to say thank you to those who serve our children every school day. People like Cathy Anderson (pictured left) of Moneta Elementary in Bedford, Virginia, who started “Tasteful Tuesdays” at her school. Every Tuesday she introduces students to a different vegetable or fruit from pumpkin to pomegranates. She educates the students on where the food comes from, how it’s grown and prepared, and what it does for the body.
School nutrition employees also know that kids need their school cafeteria to be an escape from their busy school days. Last month, the cafeteria staff of Larsen Middle School in Elgin, Illinois pulled out all the stops to transform their cafeteria into the “Larsen Lancer Lounge Luau” using festive decorations, complete with a grass hut and a tiki bar. The staff, decked out in grass skirts, served tropical drinks, made with 100% fruit juice, garnished with fresh pineapple and strawberry slices. Students were greeted with “Aloha” and their very own leis. The students and the staff loved it!