Somers Lakeside School District in Montana is raising the bar for school meals – the salad bar that is! Students love the daily fresh salad and soup selections, including choices like chef and Caesar salads, fresh fruit bar and scratch soups including chicken noodle, cream of potato and chili in a just-baked whole wheat bread bowl.
The staff prepares most of the entrees from scratch too, using fresh ingredients and often sneaking in additional helpings of healthy veggies in the sauces. In fact, when the cooks prepare pizza, they roll out whole wheat crusts and pour on the red sauce, which includes an extra boost of butternut squash puree.
Somers Lakeside participates in the Farm to School program, incorporating locally grown foods into the menu. Montana beef, apples, seasonal greens, vegetables and grains are sourced readily and often. And all these meals look just as good as they taste! Recognizing that kids often eat with their eyes, Somers Lakeside makes a point of serving breakfast and lunch on colorful plates, trays and baskets.
For all their efforts in the kitchen, and for adhering to a menu of strict nutrition criteria, Somers Lakeside was recently awarded the Healthier Montana Menu Challenge Award. The Somers Lakeside staff has also earned the stamp of student approval – participation in the meal program has steadily increased in the last several years.