The Holliston High School cafeteria staff is beginning to take steps towards nutritional advances for students.
Parents of HHS students received an email on August 24, 2018 regarding adjustments to the school lunch menu. The email included an attached message from Susan Palefsky, the Interim Food Service Director for Holliston Public Schools.
“As you can see we offer a daily special each day. This is always a hot entrée complete meal with [a] fruit, vegetable, whole grain and milk,” said Ms. Palefsky in an email interview.
Adding fruits and vegetables to school lunches is a step in the right direction. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as stated by an article for Family Education. The school food department has decided to enforce vegetables on all meal trays, while also adding fruit smoothies to the snack bar.
The cafeteria has also implemented whole grains into their food products such as new whole grain-breaded patties, rolls, pizza and pasta.
“We have expanded our sandwich offerings, introduced the power pack, increased our salad variety and added a smoothie or whole grain pretzel lunch option… at the High School level I view our department as an in-house restaurant where we need to meet our customer needs in order to be successful,” said Ms. Palefsky.
The decision to switch the bread in crusts and pizzas to include whole grains comes with many health benefits. Unlike processed white bread, whole grain bread contains higher nutrient, vitamin and protein contents, according to an article by Teens Health.
Increased whole grains, fruits and vegetables can make a large difference, especially when integrated into the previously-successful daily specials.
“Our daily special is always our biggest seller… when writing the menu and adding new lunch offerings as we did this year, I also look at reaching an expanded customer base,” Ms. Palefsky said.
“A rising tide lifts all boats, and the more customers we have the more flexibility and options it gives me when I am menu planning,” said Ms. Palefsky.
The more students and parents request ideas, the more the lunches will improve.
“My hope is that we will continue to increase our customer base by providing what the students want while following the mandated state and federal guidelines that we must adhere to,” said Ms. Palefsky.