Two Buffalo schools use from-scratch cooking to boost nutrition of meals

The schools are also using fresh proteins, fruits and vegetables in programs.

Oct. 14—Executive chef MaryRuth Rera has spent the last decade cooking first for Ralph Lauren and later for children in the third poorest city in America.

All of them, in her eyes, deserve access to healthy food.

“If you won’t eat something, why would you think a kid’s going to want it?” asked Rera, who in January 2010 started to revamp the kitchen at Westminster Community Charter School in Buffalo to focus on fresh, whole, simple foods made from scratch.

This fall, Nardin Academy took a similar tack, sacking an outside vendor that ran its cafeteria and replacing it with its own cooking staff, whose work is overseen by a professional chef and national scratch food consultant.

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Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

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Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

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