N.H. director reinventes the school lunch menu

New school nutrition director brings fresh approach to city schools.

Feb. 27—Portsmouth schools menus have been featuring menu items such as chicken rice burritos, chef salads, rotini with sauce and crunchy turkey tacos.

The menus contain a lot of homemade foods made practically from scratch. It's a big change from even a year ago, when a grade school student's lunch diet might look something like: pizza, pizza and more pizza.

Superintendent Ed McDonough told Sea Coast Online that it is the result of the hard work of Deb Riso, the new school nutrition director hired at the start of the year. He said there is always an adjustment period for new employees, but Riso hit the ground running and has gradually introduced new lunch menus at all grade levels.

"She's just got a can-do attitude," he said. "She is firm in her beliefs that school lunch needs to be healthy and nutritious."