Minneapolis schools transform lunch into chef-driven experience

Last week, students taste tested an apple-kale salad.

MINNEAPOLIS—A couple of weeks ago when Sanford Middle School debuted its new, cooked fresh, on-site lunch, the center of the plate was chicken. Not a nugget, not a patty, just a piece of roasted chicken, hot from the oven and on a compostable plate.

Accustomed to limp plastic packets of food, lots of kids wouldn’t eat it. So eighth-grader Oscar Booth, who seems to be something of a ringleader, cleaned all four of the plates that went untouched by the classmates at his table.

Word spreads quickly on the middle-school grapevine. One day last week, Booth volunteered to finish off his friends’ teriyaki chicken, but got no takers. Nor was anyone at his table willing to fork over the salads they had composed from a brand-new salad bar.

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

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The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

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Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

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