Food service staff and Healthy Door County 2020 are getting students engaged in the lunchroom, as they champion healthy food choices. As schools are educational environments, the lunchroom can be a classroom and provide additional opportunities for learning. It’s here in our school cafeterias where students are learning which foods to eat and how to balance a variety of foods offered. For the past two years, students have been introduced to various foods in their whole and prepared forms such as velvety pumpkin soup, crunchy kale chips, baked sweet potatoes, and crisp local apples. Seeing a “whole food” before cooking, such as a sweet potato, will help consumers identify the food at a grocery store or farmers market.
“It is exciting to see when kids instantly have creative ideas for how foods could be prepared. When we served pumpkin soup one student, who did not like pumpkin in a hot soup, gave the recommendation that school food service could try using pumpkin in a cream sauce and serve it over noodles. We can make a serious impact when we get the kids involved,” said Jenny Spude, Registered Dietitian with the UW-Extension Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program.
These collaborative steps in nutrition education and exposure to nutritious foods are how our community is making health a priority for this new generation. To keep up with what is being served in the lunchroom as well as other community health initiatives; visit the Healthy Door County 2020 Facebook page: facebook.com/HealthyDoorCounty2020/. Healthy Door County 2020 is partially funded by United Way.
Sara McKillop, Healthy Door County 2020 Coordinator & United Way Fund Development Director
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.