Category Archives: Food Services

HISD celebrates Thanksgiving with special lunch at schools

Thanksgiving is approaching quickly, and parents of Walnut Bend Elementary School students visited the school on Thursday to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving lunch with their children.

The special celebration, occurring during normal lunch hours, is an HISD tradition that has attracted thousands of families to school cafeterias for more than 50 years. The event gives parents a chance to celebrate the holiday a week early by sharing a meal with their children.

The students and their families filled their plates with roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and sweet potato cake. Families sat down to enjoy their meals at reserved tables with fall-themed tablecloths and centerpieces. Continue reading

Students dance, play games at Nutrition Services Fall Tailgates

A large group of energetic Holland Middle School students danced alongside their teachers in the school cafeteria last week, while others played Connect 4 and cornhole.

Other students streamed through the lunch line — decorated with white and blue balloons — as cafeteria staff handed out bright green water bottles to students.

The event was a part of a Fall Tailgate series hosted by HISD’s Nutrition Services department. In its second year, the Fall Tailgates are designed to get students excited about school lunch and encourage them to select healthier meal options.

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Cooking competition champs serve winning meal to fellow Milby HS students

Three Milby High School culinary students were transformed into real world chefs on Thursday, as they led the campus kitchen staff in preparing an award-winning meal for fellow students.

Students Jordyn Moore, Roberto Blas, and Estevan Mata — collectively named the Broadway Buffs — were the second-place winners of the national Cooking Up Change competition, which they advanced to in June after winning top honors in the district’s competition earlier this year.
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Salad bars set to expand across district this school year

When most people think about students’ favorite lunches, they think of the standards – pizza, hamburgers, mac and cheese. But the introduction of salad bars at school cafeterias across the district is challenging the notion of what students enjoy eating.

Last year, the Houston Independent School District’s Nutrition Services department introduced salad bars as a standard option at more than 20 elementary schools. The pilot program was a first for elementary schools and proved so successful that salads made up more than half the meals served on the first day. Continue reading

HISD dietitian earns School Nutrition Specialist credential

Elementary students may know her as the Lunch Lady – the lovable storybook character who serves up lunch with a side of justice. But Nan Cramer takes school lunches and good nutrition seriously.

Cramer, a registered dietitian with HISD’s Nutrition Services, recently earned certification as a school nutrition specialist. She received the credentials last month after taking a comprehensive credentialing exam administered by the School Nutrition Association, a national industry association that supports schools with professional development and other programs. Continue reading

Nutrition Services provides good food with everlasting knowledge at ‘Camp Lit’

Equipped with planters, soil, and seeds, HISD’s Nutrition Services workers had all hands-on deck as they taught nearly 9,000 elementary and middle school students various ways to dig into good nutrition.

The day’s festivities were a part of Camp Lit, a two-day festival designed to promote literacy throughout the district. Gathered in the parking lot of Delmar Fieldhouse, students participated in outdoor tailgate-themed literacy games hosted by various district departments, sponsors, and partners.  Continue reading

Employee bidding farewell after 45 years with Nutrition Services

Nutrition Services’ longest serving employee, go-to historian, and source of knowledge for all things food services is retiring in a few short weeks, after 45 years of service.

Charlotte Blocker serves as the executive administrative assistant to Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins and is known for her positive attitude, witty humor, and friendly demeanor.

“It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long,” Blocker said. Continue reading

Chavez HS cafeteria hero uses good food and the Golden Rule to make a difference

Marylyn Williams wants students who visit the cafeteria at Chavez High School to experience more than just food. She wants them to feel welcomed and at home.

As the campus cafe manager, Williams believes she is responsible not only for serving appetizing meals but also for creating an environment that influences students for the better. Each day, she said, she makes it a point to greet every student with a smile, show them respect, and offer a listening ear.

“Treat others as you would like them to treat you,” Williams said. “If you say good morning and thank you to the students, they will eventually say those same things back to you.” Continue reading

Milby’s Broadway Buffs advance to national culinary competition

Six teams of student chefs clad in double-breasted white jackets and black-and-white houndstooth pants converged on the Art Institute of Houston last weekend, all aiming to slice and dice their way to a national title.

The six teams, which were made up of HISD culinary students from Westside, Northside, and Milby high schools, were participating in the annual Cooking Up Change competition. The contest challenges students to create healthy meals that meet the real-life nutritional and cost requirements of the national school meal programs. Continue reading

High schools focus on good food at Spring Cookouts

Standing in a line that snaked across the school courtyard, hundreds of Chavez High School students shuffled under bright blue tailgate tents, eager to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken sandwiches.

“We got some really good food, and I wish I could grab seconds,” said Chavez senior Corinthia West regarding the recent Spring Cookout at her school. “I think the whole school came out, and we all enjoyed each other. This is fun!” Continue reading