Bayer, in collaboration with Nature’s Reward and the United Fresh Start Foundation, is promoting a kid-friendly broccoli, just in time to celebrate National School Lunch Week, October 11-15.
This week, fresh from the field, broccoli, from Bayer’s High Rise™ Broccoli series, was made available to students in the Monterey Peninsula and Pajaro Valley Unified School Districts in California. As part of the district’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, students were offered tasting samples during lunch, participated in a culinary demo, and Pajaro’s elementary students sampled the broccoli as a mid-day snack. Students enjoyed the locally grown broccoli’s sweet taste, as well as the plant’s stem, which was cut into half-inch rounds, or “stars,” a new Broc-Stars kids initiative.
Students enjoyed the locally grown broccoli’s sweet taste, as well as the plant’s stem, which was cut into half-inch rounds, or “stars,” a new Broc-Stars kids initiative.
“Broccoli is a mainstay on our menu and we’re always looking for new ways to promote broccoli and other dark green vegetables to our students,” said Linda Liu, registered dietitian, and director of food & nutrition services for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
“This past summer we participated in the produce industry’s foodservice conference,” said Micha James, nutrition services director at the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. “We are interested in collaborations that help students enjoy fresh vegetables, as well as helping the industry understand how schools can be partners to expose children to produce.”
Bayer has also committed $20,000 to the United Fresh Start Foundation, supporting its mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Bayer has sponsored virtual networking and education sessions for school nutrition professionals to connect with colleagues and industry suppliers, sharing best practices and strategies for sourcing, serving, and promoting fresh produce to students.
“Broc-Stars started as an idea we had looking at our High Rise Broccoli series,” said Jenny Maloney, strategic accounts manager, Bayer. “Broccoli stems are often overlooked, but our variety has alonger stem to help with harvest and other challenges farmers face. It also tastes amazing, and we thought this could be a real hit with young school children.”
Nature’s Reward donated broccoli to the two school districts.