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Good, healthy food choices. That is, and always has been, the mission of Virginia Public Schools’ Food Services Department. With the percentage of overweight children in America having grown to an astonishing one out of three children, many schools are beginning to take steps to change this trend. Virginia Schools are ahead of the game.
In the last five years or so, the Food Services program has had significant changes and additions. They were able to adjust their serving lines, display cases, and design their Blue Devil Bistro sign, which greets students upon entering the cafeteria. The Blue Devil Bistro sign contributes to an atmosphere that makes the children feel they are dining at a restaurant.
In 2006 they added the “cook to order” station, which features stir fry with
fresh vegetables (onion, red and green pepper, sugar snap peas, broccoli) cut each morning, where children are able to watch their food being made before them. An “a la carte” station features a variety of food from tacos in a bag to submarine sandwiches. Students are able to choose their sub sandwich fixings, especially a plethora of vegetables, and watch their sub sandwich be assembled in front of them. Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, Food Services started baking their bread fresh each morning.
The district also participates in the Minnesota Farm to School Program, where locally grown foods are incorporated into the school’s meals. “This year we have offered apples from Eagan, Minnesota; cabbage and potatoes from the northwest part of the state; watermelon from Stillwater; and wild rice and wild rice bread from the west Range,” said Tonja Cunningham, Program Director.