On the Journey
news reel: stories of People, places, and learning AT Aspen Country Day School
Noelle Zablosky, executive chef from Sage Dining at the Aspen Country Day School Dining Hall, writes:
If you have been at lunch recently, you've probably noticed more veggies on plates than before. This is because the Dining Hall volunteers have been directed to serve children in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade THREE items of their choice on the hot line, and one of these items MUST be a vegetable.
Children in Middle School must choose at least ONE vegetable. For example, if there are french fries out, these plus any vegetable will be acceptable. The salad bar offerings also count as a vegetable choice. A student can visit the salad bar and then the hot line to ask for their french fries, showing the Dining Hall volunteers they have a vegetable on the plate. In addition, we will be limiting the intake of certain foods such as bacon and fried foods.
The idea of this new serving procedure is exposure to new food, making sure each child sits down every day with a balanced plate.
Half of a balanced plate should be fruits and vegetables. Another quarter is protein, which can come in the form of vegetarian choices, as well as meat. Every day you will see vegetarian/vegan proteins on the hot line, as well as the salad bar. If you are unsure of what to choose, please ask. The last quarter of our plate should be grains. This can also be found on the salad bar, crackers by the soup every day, a wheat bun with your hamburger, again there are always choices and an endless variety of combinations.
If a student has allergies, is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan or observing a religious holiday, they can communicate this to the lunch staff and they will be accommodated. Children up to First Grade will be using the red compartmentalized trays, which ensures a good variety on each plate and also keeps food from "touching," which can be a turnoff to younger eaters.
Eating well, along with regular exercise, is directly connected to brain function and cognitive function. Making wise choices at lunch will in turn effect the way children's bodies feel, and will also improve the way they learn in class and all throughout the day.