Category Archives: Nutrition 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 celebrates National School Breakfast Week

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This week, HISD Nutrition Services encouraged students to start their day with school breakfast as they took part in celebrating National School Breakfast Week. 

Observed from March 4-8, the national campaign brings attention to school breakfast programs and emphasizes the importance of providing students with a healthy breakfast every day. 

As part of the weeklong celebration, every HISD elementary student eating school breakfast this week was given a trading card featuring this year’s “Start Your Engines” theme. Students were able to collect and trade the three different cards, each of which highlighted a popular breakfast item and included a fun fact.  

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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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HISD takes home 18 state awards for communications, community engagement efforts

The Houston Independent School District earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2019 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Cedar Creek. 

Presented to HISD Communications and HISD Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach teams, the accolades covered nearly all facets of the teams, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events. 

HISD Communications took home the prestigious Crystal Award for the 2018 HISD State of the Schools special event “Rebuild + Reimage,” which consisted of a multifaceted communications campaign that employed a variety of media, including graphic design, production, video, livestreaming, social media and three-dimensional table cards with hover animation. In addition, it also won two Crystal Commendations Certificates of Merit. Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach took home 15 Star Awards medals, including five gold, nine silver, and one bronze. 

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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

Wiggins featured in NBC News digital series for Black History Month 

HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins has been selected as one of 10 women featured in the NBC News series, She Thrives: Black Women Making History Today.

The series is sponsored by NBCBLK, NBC News Digital’s online platform focusing on the African-American community. The series highlights the contributions of black women “who are altering the way of life for everyone in 21st century America,” according to the She Thrives website.

Wiggins was selected for the honor based on her extensive work in child nutrition.   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