HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sat at a long white table in the Burnet Elementary School cafeteria on Monday, nibbling on a chicken biscuit and chatting with the students seated alongside her.
Gathered for breakfast on the first day of school, the conversation quickly turned into an impromptu Spanish lesson as students from the dual language school translated the menu — chicken biscuits, raisins, apple juice, and milk — into Spanish.
“Leche?” Lathan repeated carefully after hearing the Spanish word for milk. A wide smile then spread across her face. “You know what I like? Tres leches. And lot of it,” she said, laughing.
HISD students will notice fewer candy bars, potato chips, and soda sold on their campuses when the new school year begins.
Under new federal guidelines established last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, the rules now regulate all foods sold outside the school meals program on campus and at any time during the school day.
Students at Gregory Lincoln Educational Center were treated to a visit on Monday by actress Daniella Monet to kick off Houston ISD’s new healthy eating campaign, “Lean & Green Day.”
Best known for her role as Trina Vega on Nickelodeon’s Victorious and red carpet host of the Kids’ Choice Awards, the 25-year-old actress is supporting the district’s health initiative with a poster and video campaign encouraging students to participate in “Meatless Mondays” by eating meat-free at least one day a week.
HISD Food Services will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday
After giving the cafeteria dining area and kitchen a complete makeover, students at North Forest High School will get to enjoy four new build-your-own dining stations and celebrate their cafeteria’s new look during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 30at 10 a.m. at 10725 Mesa Drive.
“The new build-your-own dining stations increase our variety of offerings to students and encourage them to be creative while eating healthy versions of their favorite meals,” HISD Food Services Senior Administrator Brian Giles said. “Each station offers fresh vegetables, lean and low-fat proteins and whole grain bread options.”
Earlier this summer, North Forest High School students participated in focus groups and provided feedback on the type of school lunch experience they would like to have. Their feedback helped HISD Food Services develop lunch experiences to meet their campus’ needs.
North Forest High School students can now order their lunch from the following dining brands:
Green Street Deli™ – made–to-order subs, wraps and hot panini sandwiches from fresh ingredients
Tortilla Fresh-Mex™ – build-your-own chicken or beef burritos, quesadillas and taco salad bowls with an offering of fresh-made salsas, Spanish brown rice and charro beans
Custom Bros. Grill™ – build-your-own burgers, grilled chicken and other grilled items topped with a wide selection of fresh vegetables and special sauces
Home Zone™ – a healthy twist on classic comfort foods and home-style cuisine.
“The revamped cafeteria allows students to enjoy their favorite foods created their own way, while refueling physically and emotionally to meet the challenges of the day,” said North Forest Principal Pamela Farinas. “I am pleased with the work of HISD Food Services to improve the kitchen conditions, eating environment and food for the students at North Forest High School.”
Eighty-seven new dining brand stations have been implemented in high schools throughout the district since last fall, providing flavor and variety to more than 30,000 students.
HISD Food Services held an in-service training Aug. 19 to discuss new processes and recipes for the upcoming school year, and three days later the facility was booming. Production began in the bakery, where thousands of muffins and rolls were cooked and packaged for delivery during the first week of school. Work also began on preparing and cooking menu items for the return of students.
Food service vendors interested in learning more about business opportunities with the Houston Independent School District and meeting potential partners are encouraged to attend a networking event from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.
The event, sponsored by the district’s Business Assistance team for Supplier Diversity, will be held at HISD’s Food Services Administration building at 6801 Bennington, Room 1112. District officials will be on hand to answer questions about HISD’s meal programs, the procurement process and paperwork requirements.
While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, HISD’s Food Services department is hoping to get students to eat a few more than just a single piece of fruit.
Students at Golfcrest Elementary finished off a 3-week long nutritional curriculum with a taste-testing session held last week. The International Fruit and Veggie Festival allowed students to learn about food items with which they might not be familiar.
With more students spending most of their day at school, HISD’s Food Services has partnered with the 21st Century Community Learning Center program to serve dinner at various campuses to ensure students have access to healthy meals each day.