The students eagerly line up in the cafeteria every month, ready to embark on a delicious journey known as "Try It Tuesday." But what's the story behind this exciting initiative, and why do the kids at Miller believe they might get popcorn with their chicken? Let's delve into this remarkable transformation.
It all began with a committee, a group of dedicated individuals on a mission to promote healthy eating among the school's youngest students, from kindergarten to fifth grade. They explored various avenues to achieve this goal, considering options like educational resources, assemblies, and changing the school menu.
The most visible and impactful change came from a revamped school menu. The committee introduced a series of nutritious alterations to make the cafeteria a hub for health-conscious dining. These changes included introducing zero trans fat products, low-fat cheese pizza with whole-grain crusts, whole-grain pasta, rice, breads, rolls, and buns. Not to forget the shift to serving products made with white meat chicken and the increased availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits got a makeover, too, transitioning into convenient, easy-to-open fruit cups.
These menu enhancements were met with enthusiasm and acceptance, reflected in the increased participation of students compared to the previous year. The transformation was evident, but there was more to come.
"Try it Tuesday": A Tasty Innovation.
As the committee discussed further strategies, a brilliant idea took shape. Why not offer students the chance to sample some of the new items? Thus, "Try it Tuesday" was born. The plan was straightforward yet brilliant: a new menu item would be introduced once a month. On a Tuesday during that week, samples of the new dish would be distributed to the children. The goal was to allow students to experience the taste firsthand and, hopefully, entice them to make healthier meal choices and encourage them to choose the entire meal.
To execute this plan, the committee was fortunate to have the support of three incredible volunteers. These were not just any volunteers; they were passionate moms who were part of the lunch committee and had children attending both Miller and Manning Schools. What made them truly exceptional was their shared background as former chefs. Their culinary knowledge became a vital ingredient in the recipe for success.
These moms, with children at both Miller and Manning Schools, brought a wealth of food expertise. Their insight into the world of flavors and nutrition played a pivotal role in shaping the school's approach to promoting healthier eating habits.
"Try it Tuesday" has brought joy, curiosity, and a sense of adventure to our elementary students. The belief that they might receive popcorn with their chicken remains an endearing misconception. Still, the most significant takeaway is fostering healthier eating habits and a love for nutritious food. Thanks to the hard work of the committee and the dedication of three remarkable moms, the future is looking brighter than ever for these young food enthusiasts.
Committee Members are:
Eleni Kotakis - Parent Volunteer, Try it Tuesday
Jennifer Scrivener - Parent Volunteer, Try it Tuesday
Megan Coriel - Parent Volunteer, Try it Tuesday