Students who walked into the De Chaumes Elementary School cafeteria on Wednesday were greeted with decorations featuring musical instruments, disco balls, and vinyl records.
Long cafeteria tables clad in green and yellow tablecloths with black and white music note centerpieces tied to colorful balloons — all in celebration of National School Lunch Week.
“I’ve never been a part of this type of event before,” De Chaumes third-grader Diego Martin Salinas said. “It feels kind of cool.”
Observed this year from Oct. 14 to Oct. 18 and featuring a “What’s on Your Playlist?” theme, National School Lunch Week aims to promote the benefits of serving nutritionally balanced meals to students.
This year’s observance featured an interactive cooking demonstration by Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Jane Mazzei. Students learned how to make the sauce used for General Tso’s Chicken, followed by a sampling session of the dish.
“It was really good,” De Chaumes second-grader Brielle Garcia said. “I liked how it wasn’t too hot and that the rice didn’t have anything else in it.”
Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones rapped with students and asked them questions about different fruits and vegetables. Those who answered correctly received a special prize.
As part of the week long celebration, Nutrition Services is encouraging students to create a jingle or rap about the importance of healthy foods. Contest rules include:
- Video entries are required. Audio-only entries are not allowed.
- Student(s) may sing or rap — or play an instrument while singing or rapping.
- Jingles and/or raps must be original and no longer than 45 seconds.
- Lyrics must include the phrases “Good Food” and “HISD Nutrition Services.”
Entries must be tweeted to @HISDNutri or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 2019. Winners of the contest will be announced on the @HISDNutri Twitter account on Nov. 11, 2019.
The event gave students who bring their lunches a chance to sample what Nutrition Services offers.
“I don’t really bring my lunch from home anymore, because the school food is better than last year,” Salinas said.
De Chaumes Principal Enedith Silerio said she is glad Nutrition Services offers options her students enjoy.
“If they’re not eating, then they’re hungry and they’re not learning,” Silerio said. “I hope Nutrition Services continues to provide these opportunities for students.”