Harlandale ISD celebrates National School Lunch Week

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Harlandale ISD is joining school districts across the nation in celebrating National School Lunch Week (NSLW) on Oct. 15-18.

The district will honor the 173 Child Nutrition staff members and 10 Child Nutrition Office staff members, who work tirelessly across the district to ensure all operations run smoothly every day. These caring employees help serve more than 23,000 meals per day across our 23 campuses - that is more than 3 million meals a year!  

All Child Nutrition staff members will kick off NSLW by sporting their T-Shirt dubbed “The Lunch King” on Tuesday. Students will join the celebration by enjoying whole grain cookies and sorbet ice cream cups on Wednesday and Thursday. As an added bonus, every campus will be giving away a NSLW 2019 “Eat Smart, Be Smart” pencil to every student on Tuesday.

“NSLW really celebrates school lunch and allows us to highlight the lunch meals we offer here at Harlandale,” HISD District Dietitian Annette Gettinger said. “A lot of time and thought goes into deciding what gets placed on the menu. It might look easy from the outside, but it’s hard to find quality foods that meet the nutritional requirements as well as have the visual appeal, taste and nutritional component.”

The menus are planned a year in advance, and many meals are cooked from scratch, including Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, Crispy Beef Tacos, Lasagna, Cheese Enchiladas, Chicken Chalupas, Spanish Rice, Charro Beans and Whole Grain Dinner Rolls.

“It is important to offer balanced, healthy school lunches because we know that eating healthy not only provides energy for your body, but it fuels the mind and provides nourishment for our students’ immune system,” Gettinger added. “Research repeatedly shows that students who eat breakfast and lunch have better test scores, are able to concentrate better, and are absent less.”

Further, the Child Nutrition Department works hard to ensure that school lunches meet nutrition standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture such as limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats. The HISD school lunch program offers fresh fruit options daily, fat free/low fat milk, at least 1 cup of vegetables a day, and a variety of colorful vegetables throughout the week. All lunch meals are whole grain, which means high in fiber, and everything is baked and never fried.

“We are always trying to look for better quality, more nutritious foods,” HISD Child Nutrition Supervisor Roxanne Rivas said. “Our Child Nutrition director makes time to eat at a campus several times a week to test for quality, proper food temperatures and appearance of all foods served to students. He also loves to get feedback from them. Sometimes he gets an earful, but he takes their suggestions to heart and tries to find ways to incorporate their ideas. The students are the most important customers. We are here for them.”

The Harlandale ISD Child Nutrition will also celebrate National School Breakfast Week on March 2-6, 2020 and School Lunch Hero Day on May 1, 2020.

 

 

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