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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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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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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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...

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