Nutrition Bites Newsletter

  • Nutrition Bites Newsletter, April 2018

    Posted by Shirlee Wong on 5/8/2018 10:00:00 PM

    Meet Irene and Martha of ­the Taft Kitchen! They are preparing our very popular Caesar Salad made with fresh, organic, local ingredients:

    Organic Romaine lettuce, shredded parmesan cheese, croutons and house-made dressing with mayo, fresh garlic, Dijon mustard and a few other simple, nutritious ingredients!

    Kitchen Staff at Taft, making Caesar Salad

     

     

    A Healthy School Lunch!

    Does your family have a hard time eating healthy foods, because the flavor and texture are so different? That’s a common concern for most families. Advice: Keep practicing! Every effort counts! Small, positive changes will lead to huge positive impacts on health, energy, and brain function!

     

    Let’s use our clean Hot Dog on a whole grain Bun, with Cucumber Coins and tasty low sodium Tajin seasoning for example!

    Clean Hot Dog on Whole Grain Bun Cucumber Coins with Low Sodium Tajin

     

    At RCSD, we try to use clean products whenever we can. Clean products have 5 ingredients or less. Generally, the less ingredients a food item has, the easier it is for the body to digest and use for energy and good health.

     

    Whole grains are good for you! They contain fiber and B Vitamins. Fiber helps with digestion, cleansing and detoxifying the digestive tract, which helps prevent tummy troubles and some major illnesses. It also allows for better absorption of nutrients into the body. B Vitamins increase energy!

    Be careful when choosing grains! Whole grains are different than “refined” or processed grains, like white flour and white rice. Whole grains are not processed in a factory, so most of the nutrients do not get lost or destroyed like processed grains do. Grain items in school lunches have at least 51% whole grains. Do yours?!

    As with fruits and vegetables, it is important to eat a variety of whole grains, because they each have different types and amounts of nutrients. Here is a list of grains you can try with your family!

     

    Low sodium is another way to say “low salt”. Most people living in America eat 3,400 milligrams (mg) of salt each day, but they should eat 2,300 milligrams (mg) or less! Foods that contain the most salt usually come from restaurants and packaged foods. In our kitchens, we like to use fresh garlic, onions, cilantro and other seasonings instead of salt.

     

     

    UC Cooperative Extension’s CalFresh Nutrition Education Program

    This program introduces students to fruits and vegetables from local farms in California, and encourages them to try new items. They use a safe, fun approach serving bite-sized pieces to students as they wait in line for their cafeteria meal. Those who want more, can choose it from the salad bar. Most students try them and often find that they like them and want more!

    Last month at Fair Oaks, the students got to try Baby Striped Beets, from Babe Farms in Santa Maria!

     

     Baby Striped Beets!

     

     

    Don’t forget - Farmer's Market is Here!

    Speaking of local farms, our annual Farmer’s Market may be coming to your child’s school, and it comes with the cost of lunch. Farmer’s Market takes place in the multi-use room during lunchtime, and students get to taste some familiar and some new fresh, local and organic produce. Last year's offerings included organic strawberries, organic romaine lettuce, blood oranges, cutie mandarins, ruby red grapefruit, Minneola tangelos, sweet baby carrots, apricots, Easter egg radishes, nectarines, peaches, snap peas, kumquats and cucumbers. We encourage students to stop by this year, to see what is available for tasting!

    Orion – Thursday, May 10th

     

     Farmers Market with Parent Volunteers John Gill Farmer's Market

     

     

    Job Openings!

    If you like working with elementary and/or middle school students, enjoy cooking simple and delicious meals, or are interested in learning and developing these skills, please apply online at Food Service Job Openings or in person at the Human Resources Department of the District Office (the second floor).

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  • Nutrition Bites Newsletter, March 2018

    Posted by Shirlee Wong on 3/20/2018

    March is National Nutrition Month

    Good nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits are SO important for scholars and growing bodies! Plenty of healthy eating, sleep and exercise can help children do better in school and sports, reduce the frequency and severity of illness, and improve mood. This month, look for nutrition and wellness information, healthy recipes that kids can make on their own, fun games and more through the Redwood City School District’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

     

     

    National Breakfast Week!

    National Breakfast Week took place March 5th - 9th, and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the school kitchens served a special treat: BLUEBERRIES with breakfast.

     

    According to the Dairy Council of California, the formula for a Healthy Breakfast is this:

    A healthy breakfast includes grains, fruit or vegetable, and dairy or protein.   

     

    Nutrition Tip: Did you know that blueberries are considered a Superfood, because they have so many health benefits? To name a few: they are filled with antioxidants, which keep the brain and eyes healthy, they help with digestion, improve mood and build a stronger immune system.

     

     

    Taste Tests

    In February we taste tested Pho at Roy Cloud. Pho is a Vietnamese soup with chicken, fresh vegetables, and rice noodles. The students tried the Pho with a variety of traditional fresh toppings (if they wanted) such as cilantro, green onions and lime!

    Rice noodles, chicken, and fish broth

     

    Fresh, flavorful greens to top thier soup!

     

     

    At Roosevelt, we taste tested Baked and Breaded Chicken Pieces. The students enjoyed them, so we will add them to the menu soon!

     

     

    Farmer's Market is Coming!

    Our annual Farmer’s Market may be coming to your child’s school. Check the list below to find out. Farmer’s Market takes place in the multi-use room during lunchtime, and students get to taste some familiar and some new fresh, local and organic produce. Last year's offerings included organic strawberries, organic romaine lettuce, blood oranges, cutie mandarins, ruby red grapefruit, Minneola tangelos, sweet baby carrots, apricots, Easter egg radishes, nectarines, peaches, snap peas, kumquats and cucumbers. We encourage students to stop by this year, to see what is available for tasting!

     

    Hawes - Thursday, March 22nd

    John Gill – Tuesday, March 27th

    Henry Ford - Wednesday, April 4th

    Orion – Thursday, May 10th

    Adelante - Date and time to be announced

     

     

    Future Chef Highlights

    Thank you to all who participated in this year’s Asian Fusion themed Future Chef Contest! We enjoyed TASTY and CREATIVE dishes made by 7 students from 6 different schools. Our big winner was Neveya Cerna-Lombera from John Gill Elementary. Neveya tantalized our taste buds with her most delicious “NeVeggie Lettuce Wraps”. Neveya has been entered in Sodexo’s Regional Future Chef Contest where her recipe competes with winners from other school districts. Congratulations, Neveya!!!

    RCSD's Future Chef Contestants and their Meal Creations!

    Neveya of John Gill Elementary is this year's winner!

    Neveya's Ne-Veggie Wrap!

     

     

     

    Opportunities for YOU in the Child Nutrition Department?

    Child Nutrition Advisory Meeting: Would you like to know more about the Child Nutrition Services Department? Do you have questions for the school nutrition staff? Would you like to contribut to the health and wellbeing of the RCSD students? If so, please attend our next advisory meeting! It will take place on Thursday, April 19th from 2:00 – 3:00. For those interested in attending please email Shirlee Wong at swong@rcsdk8.com.

     

    Job Openings: If you like working with elementary and/or middle school students, enjoy cooking simple and delicious meals, or are interested in learning and developing these skills, please apply online at Food Service Job Openings.

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  • Nutrition Bites Newsletter, February 2018

    Posted by Shirlee Wong on 2/9/2018 7:00:00 AM

     Vote 1  Vote and Be Heard

    Students of the Redwood City School District recently had the opportunity to vote for their favorite café menu item, and suggest others they would like us to provide in the future.

    Across the district, New York Pizza was the favorite, followed by house-made Pozole and then all-natural Hot Dogs!

    Also based on their feedback, it looks like we will be trading in our Macaroni and Cheese for Tachos! For more information on Tachos, keep reading!

     

    Vote and Be Heard happens once a year, but don’t wait until next year to share your feedback! We LOVE hearing from students and parents, and want to know your thoughts and comments. If you know someone who has feedback to share, please email us at swong@rcsdk8.net.

     

     

    Fresh 1 Fresh Pick

    How fortunate we are, to live in California! We have fantastic weather, and an opportunity to taste fresh and local fruits and vegetables year-round.

    Throughout the year, Redwood City School District offers a wide selection of fruits and vegetables to students who eat school breakfast and school lunch. As a special treat, we also provide seasonal items when they are available.

    This season we have Cuties and Cara Cara Oranges on the menu. Those who try, will find them SUPER SWEET, JUICY, AND REFRESHING!

    Ask your child if he/she has tried our Cuties and Cara Cara oranges!

     

    Nutrition Tip: As a sweet bonus, did you know that oranges are filled with Vitamin C? This helps strengthen the immune system, which is especially important for children as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. When they regularly eat oranges and other foods that have Vitamin C, they get sick less often and if they do get sick the severity is less.

     

    UC Cooperative Extension partners with us to allow students at some schools to taste our seasonal fruits and vegetables. Take a look at the pictures below, from tastings they've done at Roosevelt.

     Students Tasting Peaches!  Tasting Peaches! Delicious carrots, fresh from the ground! The students were able to try sweet and juicy red grapefruit!

     

     

    Taste Testing: Tachos! Tacho 1 Tacho 2

    What are Tachos, you ask? Great question! They’re Nachos with Tater Tots and Fiesta Chili Beans. They were a BIG hit with the students who tried them during our lunchtime taste tests at Taft, MIT, and Roy Cloud! So much so, that we’ve added them to February’s menu! Check your child’s monthly School Lunch Menu to see when they are offered, so they can try them out.

     

    We are always looking for new menu ideas, so if you or your child have suggestions, please email them to Shirlee at swong@rcsdk8.net.

    Child Nutrition Staff Member Showing a Menu Item

     

     

    MIT kitchen staff member preparing tachos for the students to taste testing!

    mmmm....Tachos, strait from the oven with tater tots, fiesta black beans, and melted cheese! Kitchen staff member tasting her handywork at Roy Cloud!  Another Roy Cloud kitchen staff member, enjoying Tachos after much preparation for the taste test!

     

     

    Future 1  Annual Future Chef Contest

    Every year the RCSD Child Nutrition Services Department holds its Future Chef contest, where students can exercise their creativity and interest in recipe design, food preparation, and cooking. This year’s theme is ASIAN FUSION! And contest Judges will include some of our very own School Board Members! Is this something your child might be interested in participating in or observing? The details are below.

    Event Date: Thursday, February 22nd

    Time: 3:00pm (Participants arrive at 2:30pm.)

    Location: Hawes Elementary School’s Multi-Use Room

    For more information, or to submit a recipe to enter the contest, email Vanessa at vcorona@rcsdk8.net. Recipe submissions must be sent by Tuesday, February 6th.

     

    Check out some of the outcomes from previous years’ Future Chef contests.

     Future 3 Future 4

    A previous year's Future Chef contestant made Turkey Egg Muffins with a side of Fruit Yogurt Mix Another one made a refreshing Berry Smoothie! A mushroom omelette with fresh vegetables like bell pepper, tomato, and radish, and a garnish of parsley! Scrambled Egg Muffins with a beautiful display of fresh berries!

     

     

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