Calif. director champions new school meal regs

Director developed salad bar that became national standard.

Sept. 10—Riverside (Calif.) Unified School District is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. 

That fact can be attributed to Rodney Taylor, director of nutrition services for the Riverside Unified School District, who is considered a “rock star” in the effort. With more than 30 years of experience in the culinary arts, Taylor found his passion in food service and even established a national model, the “Farmer’s Market Salad Bar” (FMSB) program in 1997, while working as the director of Food and Nutrition Services in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. He brought this program to Riverside in 2005.

The salad bar features locally grown produce and helps teach elementary school kids to be lifelong healthy eaters by increasing access and availability of fruits and vegetables, and through hands-on education components that include field trips to farms, school gardens and farmer visits to classrooms.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

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gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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