What-would-you-like-to-see-on-the-menuMar2015

In March 2015, we asked for your feedback on the menus through a survey that we posted on the blog.  Thank you for your responses!  We received over 100 responses, from 15 schools across the city (both full kitchen cafeteria and satellite sites).  We asked, “What would you like to see on the lunch menu?” and captured your responses in the the word cloud above.  The larger the word, the more frequent the response.

In  2011, we also surveyed students across the city, and asked “What gets you in line?”  See the word cloud below for the results from 2011:

What would get you in the line

These survey results provide some food for thought as we continue to improve our menus to meet required nutrition standards and diverse student preferences within a tight budget.  The rest of the survey results will be considered as future menu changes are considered.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey!  As our menus continue to evolve, please continue to provide your input by emailing SchoolFoodBoston[at]bostonpublicschools.org.

 

New_April2015Menu
Starting April 1st, there will be a new, simpler menu in schools. All breakfasts and lunches will continue to be free for all student. Popular items will be offered more frequently. There will be lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We hope that you will give the meals a try!

Highlights of our streamlined menu:

Breakfast: Two choices offered daily, including hot options served twice a week.

  • Cold choices include cereals, muffins, or yogurt, always offered with fresh fruit and 100% juice, and non-fat or 1% milk.
  • Cereals continue to be whole grain and limited in sugar. Cereals that are perceived as sugary, although available to school districts in a low sugar version, will not be offered.

Lunch: We offer student favorites more often in our new-three week menu cycle.

  • Three choices will be offered daily with both hot and cold entrée options.
  • Previously, schools with grades K-8 had three meal choices and high schools had four entrée choices.
  • Cold meal options include entrée salads, subs and sandwiches. Additionally, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are available.
  • Fruit offerings are unchanged, with fresh fruit and 100% juice, daily.
    Milk offerings are unchanged and include nonfat and low-fat options.

Check out the April Menus at: https://schoollunchboston.wordpress.com/menu/ and tell us what you think of the new menu by emailing us at SchoolFoodBoston[at]bostonpublicschools.org.

School-Breakfast-Fuels-Greatness-Edison-School-3.10.15Earlier this week, New England Patriots Safety Duron Harmon, Former New England Patriots Tight End Jermaine Wiggins, Massachusetts dairy farmer Susan Shields and Audrey Rowe of the Food and Nutrition Service at the United States Department of Agriculture visited Thomas A. Edison School in Brighton to get students excited about school breakfast. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and has launched a “Fuel Greatness” campaign to mobilize communities to take action and advocate for, and implement, alternative breakfast options in school districts nationwide.

“School breakfast provides students with a solid foundation for learning,” said Wiggins. “It provides the fuel they need to set their day in a positive direction toward success at school which is important each and every day.” “School breakfast is one of the most important things we can offer our students,” said Mary Driscoll, Principal, Thomas A. Edison School. “It is our duty as school leaders to make sure our students have access to healthy foods at school throughout the day. School breakfast is essential to a child’s ability to learn. It’s a tool for success just like books, homework and class time.”

School-Breakfast-Fuels-Greatness-Edison-School-3.10.15_2

Students who eat breakfast at school are more likely to succeed in the classroom, and thanks to the Cabot Family Charitable Trust and New England Dairy & Food Council, students at six Boston Public Schools, including the Thomas A. Edison School, are eating a healthy breakfast more often. To help support the expansion of school breakfast in Boston Public Schools, $25,000 in funding was provided by the Trust to New England Dairy & Food Council.

These funds go a long way toward helping students develop healthy behaviors at school that fuel greatness in the classroom and will benefit them for a lifetime” said Katherine S. McHugh, executive director, Cabot Family Charitable Trust.Research demonstrates that good nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance1, but according to one study, more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day.2 Many kids are showing up to school hungry, and hungry kids may not be able to succeed in the classroom.

“Good nutrition is as critical to a child’s overall success as the curriculum that our schools teach every day,” said Audrey Rowe, the Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “A well-balanced breakfast offers an important nutritional foundation and charts the course for a healthier next generation.”

To learn more about Fuel Greatness, Fuel Up to Play 60, and school breakfast, visit: http://www.fueluptoplay60.com. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at #FuelGreatness

FFVPPosterContest2015_2

MARCH is National Nutrition Month!

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, BPS Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is looking for a team of fruit and vegetable superheroes to help us fight hunger and support healthy kids!

FFVP is a USDA grant funded program the provides additional fresh fruits and veggies during the school day at select schools.  These fruit and veggie snacks are served in the classroom, above and beyond what is already offered during breakfast and lunch.  This year, FFVP is operating in 31 BPS elementary/K-8 schools and has served a variety of citrus, snap peas, mini cucumbers, kiwi slices and much more.

The FFVP Action League is looking for your…

BEST Fruit Superhero
BEST Vegetable Superhero
BEST Super Power

Bonus points if you create a comic strip featuring your fruit and veggie superheroes and their super powers.

Fruit and Veggie Superhero submissions will be accepted through April 17th, 2015 from the 31 FFVP schools.  For poster contest guidelines please click here.

Tune in this spring to meet the winners of the FFVP Action League Poster Contest!

 

Is your elemementary school interested in the FFVP for next year?  Contact our FFVP Program Manager, Lauren Kaskey at LKaskey[at]bostonpublicschools.org for more details.

 

 

 

NSBW_2015
It’s National School Breakfast Week!

Did you know, research has linked participation in the National School Breakfast Program with lower BMI in children? Students are also better prepared to focus in the classroom when they start their day with a healthy balanced breakfast.

EVERY day BPS offers a healthy variety of breakfast options at each of our schools.  And the best part is that it’s FREE to all BPS students.  Every day, students can choose from 2 fruit options (or take both!), low fat milk and a rotating selection of reduced-sugar cereals, whole wheat muffins, bagels, egg sandwiches, and more.  See our menus for more details.

Calling all students*: We’d like to challenge YOU to try breakfast at your school this week!
Get in line, give it a try and tell us what you think! Complete the short form below or send us an email at SchoolFoodBoston[at]bostonpublicschools.org.

*Parents, teachers and principals can participate in the School Breakfast challenge too! Breakfast for adults costs $2.75 in our cafeterias.

SchoolFoodBostonCollage

Welcome back from February Break!

As our last post mentioned, we’ve rolled out some new recipes this year, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

What do you LIKE on the menu?
What do you DISLIKE on the menu?
What would you like to see on the menu in the future?

Email us your thoughts at SchoolFoodBoston@bostonpublicschools.org or complete the survey below:

NewRecipes.2015Feb2

Have you tried the new recipes on the menu this year?

We’ve gradually introduced a few new recipes into our our full-kitchen cafeteria cycle menus and the January/February 2015 lunch menus are the first to feature all four new recipes!

The recipes were deveoped with Chef Kirk Conrad and Chef Guy Koppe (currently the Director of Watertown Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services) from Project Bread. These recipes have been tested in our kitchens and approved by our students through taste tests last spring.

Here’s some info about our newest additions to the menu:

Lemon Oregano Chicken 
Inspired by our colleagues from Oakland Unified School District, this recipe uses our bone-in chicken (a favorite among students!) and is baked with a marinade of oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken stock and lemon juice.  The marinade helps keep the chicken from drying up and is a fresh twist on our usual baked chicken.

Black Bean Burrito Bowl (vegetarian entree!)
This recipe was adapted from Cambridge Public School’s Black Bean Burrito recipe for our Meatless Monday menus.  The black bean burrito bowl includes brown rice, black beans sauteed with onions, peppers, cumin and garlic powder, with corn, salsa, shredded mozzarella and a whole grain tortilla on the side.

Pollo Guisado
Chef Guy and Chef Kirk originally developed this recipe with Lawrence Public Schools for The Healthy School Meals Cookbook.  This recipe is inpsired by a Puerto Rican style stewed chicken that includes the bone-in chicken, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cilantro and a homemade adobo spice mix (chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, oregano, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper).

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
This recipe has been described as “…a healthier version of Chicken Broccoli Alfredo. There is plenty of garlic, cheese, broccoli, and chicken in this pasta dish, without the added cream.” Also developed for The Healthy School Meals Cookbook, Chef Kirk and Chef Guy adapted this recipe specifically for our ingredients.

If you haven’t tried these items on the menu yet, I’d like to encourage you to get in line*, and give them a try!

Thursday 2/8/15 – Pollo Guisado over Rice
Tuesday 2/13/15 – Lemon Oregano Chicken w/Roll
Monday 2/26/15 – Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Tuesday 2/27/15 – Chicken & Broccoli Pasta
Thursday 2/29/15 – Pollo Guisado over Rice

*Please note, due to the many snow days, these menu dates may vary.  Please check with your cafeteria staff for updates!

We would love to hear your feedback about these new items on the menu!  Please write to us at SchoolFoodBoston@bostonpublicschools.org with feedback about these items or any items on our menu.

Hope you enjoyed your lunch today!

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