Last year, HISD’s Nutrition Services department launched a pilot program at a handful of campuses to increase the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available to students in the cafeteria at lunch.
That program was so successful that the district has expanded it this year, and a total of 26 HISD schools now regularly offer a fresh fruit and vegetable bar.
“The students love it when we have the bars and ask for them every day,” said Mia Hoyle, a cafeteria attendant team leader at Bastian Elementary School. “Even the teachers enjoy them.”
The bar concept encourages students to try a wide variety of fresh produce, including some that may be entirely unfamiliar to them. Daily offerings include oranges, green apples, golden delicious apples, pears, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, grapes, and celery.
“It gives students the option to expand their palette,” said Nutrition Services Operations Directors Becky Campbell. “The colors are enticing and make the kids curious to try things.”
To provide variety and the best selections at their peak, additional selections may be added as the seasons change.
Participating elementary schools are: Bastian, Berry, Briargrove, Burrus, Crespo, Dogan, Frost, Gallegos, Garcia, Garden Oaks, Golfcrest, J.P. Henderson, Herrera, Highland Heights, Isaacs, Lantrip, Lewis, Oates, Osborne, Peck, River Oaks, St. George Place, Tinsley, Travis, Whittier, and the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center.