Middle school’s student/teacher/food service partnership results in four student-created meals to be offered on October menu

The results of a unique student/teacher/food service collaborative effort are taking place at the Middle School in October, with all middle school students having a chance to be a part of the outcome of their partnership.

As part of a classroom project, Victoria Ingrassia’s eighth-grade FACS students were recently invited to design a healthy and nutritious single day lunch menu for the middle school cafeteria which the middle school food services team would prepare and serve on selected days in October.

Students talking about menu preparationsCheryl Bellew, the district’s director of food services, met with Ms. Ingrassia’s classes to talk about how monthly menu development takes place. She stressed the importance of creating nutritionally balanced and fresh meals that students would find appealing and want to purchase, and why that was particularly important in a school setting.

“Our Family and Consumer Science classes are intended to provide our students with real-life skills to help them start to become prepared for when they’re on their own,” said Ms. Ingrassia. “In this instance, that means not only having basic cooking skills, but understanding why making good, informed choices about the foods they eat will help support a healthy lifestyle and overall good health.”

My Plate imageStudents worked in teams to creatively discuss what kind of single day meal for the October menu they could design which would include the five food groups of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. These food groups are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “MyPlate,” an easy-to-follow food guide designed to help families to figure out how to feed their children nutritious, balanced meals. The colorful divided plate includes sections for vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein foods.

They submitted their lunch meal menus to Mrs. Bellew, who told each class she would choose one winner from each of the four classes to be spotlighted every Friday this month.

“We’re thrilled to be able to showcase these selected menus,” said Mrs. Bellew. “We want them to see that their assignments are more than just assignments. They have a real-life application. The selected menus are not only nutritionally balanced and can be made fresh by our staff. They’re very creative. I really think our students and staff will find them appealing and I hope everyone tries them.”

Winners, and their menus, are:

Middle school menu winnersOct. 7: “Brunchesss,” created by the Period 2 FACS class team of Olivia Sisto, Kaitlyn Koppenal, Matthew DiPoalo and Cailinn Lacenere.

The “Brunchesss” menu is waffles with strawberries or syrup; turkey bacon or chicken sausage patties, watermelon, cucumbers and milk.

Fair surprise menu winnersOct. 14: “A Fair Surprise,” created by the Period 3 FACS team of Aidan Foot, Thomas Casey, Carter Vellenga, Ivan Acevedo and Christopher Ruiz

The “A Fair Surprise” menu is a chicken gyro, tzatziki sauce, seasoned broccoli, watermelon and milk.

Strombolious winnersOct. 21: “Strombolicious Good Lunch,”  created by the Period 8 FACS team of Fiona Okby, Zachary Phillips, Ashe Rodriguez, Cavin Hoolan and  Derek Patzelt.

The “Strombolicious Good Lunch”  menu is a ham and cheese stromboli, (ham  and melted cheese rolled in a pizza crust, seasoned broccoli, fresh pineapple and milk.

secret formula menu winnersOct. 28: “Secret Formula,”  created by the Period 3 FACS team  of Joseph Pallone, Isabella Doolittle and Chris Cruz.

The “Secret Formula” menu is Thai sweet chili chicken, whole grain boneless chicken wings in Thai sweet chili sauce, whole grain rice, seasoned broccoli, fresh raspberries and milk.

Mrs. Bellew plans to invite eighth-grade FACS students during Quarter 2, 3, 4 to also create single day menus, with the selected  menus from each class to be offered on an upcoming Middle School monthly menu.