Category Archives: Food Services

7th Annual School Lunch Hero Day to be celebrated on May 3

Students and school faculty will soon have the opportunity to show their appreciation to cafeteria staff during School Lunch Hero Day.

On May 3, Nutrition Services will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day, a nationwide celebration that honors school nutrition professionals for the valuable work they do each day. The observance will allow students and school staff to celebrate their campus’ cafeteria team.

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Family-style lunch a success at Garden Oaks Montessori

When it’s time for lunch, Garden Oaks teacher Terah Kuhnen’s pre-kindergarten students take out their blue and white placemats and begin setting the table around the floral centerpieces.

She walks about the classroom, filling their trays with the lunch for the day. Once the children are seated, she begins to eat her own meal — usually the same food her class is enjoying.

This is family-style lunch, a program that was launched at the start of this school year in Garden Oaks Montessori’s Children’s House classrooms, where 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds work and learn together.

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Nutrition Services recognized by Texas Department of Ag

Besides being delicious and nutritious, what do tortillas, skim milk, and watermelon all have in common?

The items were part of Nutrition Services’ winning menu for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge, which encourages schools to incorporate local foods into their menus and garden-based learning activities into their curriculum.

“The students learn about growing plants locally and the benefits of choosing local foods,” Nutrition Services Senior Manager Amanda Oceguera said. “The aim of this program is to establish behaviors that create healthy students for their entire lives.”

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Nutrition Services dietitian recognized as a top dietitian in the state

 Julia Jarrell
 Julia Jarrell 

HISD Nutrition Services Food Literacy Manager Julia Jarrell has been selected as one of the 2019 Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognized Young Dietitians of the Year.

Jarrell was nominated and selected for her progressive work in teaching HISD students how to lead healthy and productive lives through good nutrition.

“I love the opportunity to promote health within the Houston community” Jarrell said. “To be recognized and honored for doing things I am deeply proud of makes me feel elated and privileged to be part of such a wonderful profession.”

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Milby HS Culinary Arts student headed toward bright future

 (Houston Independent School District)

Milby High School Culinary Arts Program student Roberto Blas knows how something as simple as a conversation can change your life.

During the summer of 2018, Blas had a conversation about his future plans with Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins in Washington, D.C. at the national Cooking Up Change competition for high school students.

It was during that conversation, just after his team earned second place in the cooking competition, he learned about Johnson and Wales University — a private career-oriented college in Providence, RI. Continue reading

Schwan’s Chef Collective visits Milby HS for cook-off

Milby High School recently was transformed into the site of an exciting cooking competition — complete with four celebrity chefs — as part of the Schwan’s Chef Collective K-12 Kitchen Collaborative Mystery Ingredient Cook-Off.

The cooking contest — which featured chefs from the Food Network and Top Chef — was the culmination of a week-long event that included student Q&A sessions and a visit to the student gardens at Atherton Elementary School and Gregory-Lincoln Education Center. Continue reading

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