Massachusetts school revamps lunches with more fresh produce

School lunches at Andover public school in Massachusetts are getting a facelift this year that should leave students, parents, teachers, and staff healthy and happy.

“We’ve re-organized the school nutrition department into a new model of organization," said Gail Koutroubas, director of food and nutrition services.

"We’re going to have all of our fresh salads, sandwiches, power packs, and salad bar items come out of one location so that we’re ensuring that the children are getting the right amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and that they’re good quality. And we’re going to control that with our new walk-in refrigerator.”

Cold produce (salads, raw vegetables, etc.) for the entire district will be delivered directly to the high school, where it will then be washed and prepared.

“One of the changes is to implement all the fresh fruits coming out of one central location and being transported to the schools on a daily basis," she said.

"So we’re going to have production area where we’re going to have all the fresh fruits and vegetables are prepared here, packaged here, we’re going to have all the nutritional information on them, similar to like when you go to like a Whole Foods and you might go to the refridgeration section. You’ll see the sandwiches, you’ll see salads pre-made and all that- that’s the concept that we’re looking for."

“We took out all of the cold production so that the kitchen can focus on a scratch-made meal,” added Koutrousbas. “That’ll give them more time in their day to make scratch foods rather than processed foods. So we’re decreasing the amount of processed foods as much as possible, increasing scratch made meals and developing new recipes along the school year. So we want chicken tenders for example made from chicken tenders. That will come in as raw chicken and we’ll have our own recipe.”

The elementary and middle schools will also be having two all-vegetarian days a month, as per parent request.


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