Nutrition Services serves up healthier Thanksgiving lunch

Kindergarteners at the School at St. George Place enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Kindergarteners at the School at St. George Place enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

HISD Nutrition Services got a head start on the holiday season Nov. 19 by serving a turkey lunch with all the trimmings to HISD students and parents. The annual Thanksgiving meal is an HISD tradition that has attracted thousands of families to school cafeterias for more than 50 years. The event gives parents and caregivers a chance to celebrate the holiday a week early by sharing a meal with their children.

This year’s menu included roasted turkey with gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, a fresh fruit medley, and vanilla cake with apple topping. But while the dishes were traditional, Nutrition Services chefs worked hard to make them healthier this year, and not one student noticed.

According to HISD Executive Chef David Husbands, most of the items were made in the district’s food production facility, in compliance with federal and state regulations. “There was a challenge to bring stuffing back to the menu because of the whole-grain requirements,” said Husbands. “We decided to create our own cornbread stuffing that meets federal guidelines but still tastes good.” Students and parents were very happy with the recipes Nutrition Services created.

School at St. George Place parent Laura Villanueva was pleased with the healthier menu. “The turkey is delicious,” she said. “The stuffing is delicious.”

First-grader Naelanni Murray was thankful for her favorite part of lunch. “I like my dad coming to school to eat lunch with me,” she said.