National School Lunch Week begins at Re-2 | PostIndependent.com

National School Lunch Week begins at Re-2

Theresa Hamilton
Garfield Re-2 Director of Communications

Zucchini boats, spaghetti squash and a lovely melon, citrus and jicama salad with mint will be on the menu at all Garfield Re-2 schools from Rifle to New Castle to celebrate National School Lunch Week.

“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Garfield Re-2 Nutrition Services Director Mary McPhee. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.”

The samples of different fruits and vegetables is just one of the many changes that have been made to the Garfield Re-2 school lunch program over last several months. Parents, students and staff may have noticed the water decanters with fresh fruit. Smoothies are now on the breakfast menu and have been a huge hit, and new menu items like the chicken/mashed potato bowl have made school lunch … almost cool. McPhee and her staff are also experimenting with made-to-order salads and round pizzas rather than the traditional school lunch square pizzas.

“We know that hungry students can’t learn. I have an amazing staff, and we want school lunch to be an experience that is nutritious, delicious and is a recipe for success for our students, our staff and our parents,” McPhee added.

To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Garfield Re-2 will celebrate National School Lunch Week from Oct. 9-13, 2017. The theme “Recipes for Success” is an opportunity to showcase our staff, and the magic they work in the kitchen every day.

“Our meals are almost entirely from scratch,” McPhee said. “We make our bread from scratch, we use fresh fruits and vegetables, and most importantly, our meals are made with a lot of love for our schools, our kids and our communities.”

National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily in Garfield Re-2, and a new side dish will be introduced and available for sampling each day including roasted beets on Monday, melon, citrus and jicama salad with mint on Tuesday, spaghetti squash on Wednesday and zucchini boats with marinara and cheese on Thursday.

The federally funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students every day. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole grain-rich foods, and limiting fat, calories and sodium.

The “Recipes for Success” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. For more information on National School Lunch Week, visit https://schoolnutrition.org/nslw/.