HISD celebrates National School Lunch Week with middle school nutrition, cooking lessons

Houston Independent School District students are getting the chance to try Texas-grown squash and watermelon and make their own sweet potato muffins as part of National School Lunch Week.

National School Lunch Week was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a way to recognize the federally-funded National School Lunch Program, which sets guidelines to ensure students have access to nutritionally-balanced, healthy meals every day.

Nutrition Services is celebrating the week by introducing the Nutrition Services Culinary Team, a group that will provide nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations to middle school students on Thursday and Friday. Students will learn how to make sweet potato muffins during the classes.

Additionally, the department is highlighting its fresh fruit and vegetable program. Texas-grown roasted summer squash, a new menu item, was offered to students on Tuesday, and watermelon was available on Wednesday.

“National School Lunch Week is a great time for us to educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer,” Nutrition Services Senior Administrator Audene Chung said. “School lunches are healthier than ever before — we have more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and less fat and sodium.”

HISD serves 288,000 meals to students each day. All meals served follow federal guidelines set forth by the National School Lunch Program, which requires schools to offer fruits and vegetables daily, serve whole-grain-rich foods, and limit fat, calories, and sodium in the meals they serve.

For more information about HISD schools meals and National School Lunch Week, visit www.houstonisd.org/nutritionservices.