Cafeteria Style

January 7, 2010

Hey Guys

I missed y’all so much

I had quite the busy day and feel like I traveled over the rainbow and back. It was actually weird to come home. Felt weirder than when we were gone at Xmas for 9 days!

Everything went well for my first day. My commute was – simply put – painful. But I think I’ll get used to it. And my Twilight audiobook will definitely help. [Side note: I'm not all that impressed with Twilight five chapters in, but I'm very excited to see the movie just because of all the buzz]

Everyone at work was sooooo nice. I felt very welcome!! I’ve got a great list of things they’d like me to do, including standardizing my baked oatmeal recipe for their breakfast rotation, making a nutrition education video that will be broadcast in the schools, coming up with a gourmet menu for a dinner they are catering, and lots of food photography :) Squeezed in-between I’ll be completing all of my boring DI competencies like doing cost analyses and writing a business plan.

After an orientation meeting, my preceptor and I set out to visit some of the schools in the system. (There are 35 in total, I believe!)

Since I don’t have kids, I don’t think I’ve been INSIDE a middle school since I was in one myself!! It was so cool to jump right back into the atmosphere of a middle school cafeteria.

One major perk of working in a school system: we get to eat lunch at the schools everyday! That might not sound that appealing to eat in the cafeteria, but I am so impressed with the quality and nutrition of the food they have that it’s definitely a fun plus (and no packing lunches for me!) They have all whole wheat breads and pastas and the food is very fresh. They use canola oil and always have salads and fresh fruits + veggies on the line.

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We sampled some of the whole wheat baked ziti, a whole wheat roll and some baked potato wedges at 10:45!! I wasn’t really hungry for a real lunch yet, but this was a great snack to tide me over. [I didn't eat all of those - just a bite or two of each]

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Next stop: the walk-in freezers and fridges! It was funny to hear all the foodservice terms we’ve been learning about being put into practice.

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They also have a great fruit + veggie snack program funded by a grant at three of the schools. They get a fresh fruit/veggie for a snack that is in addition to lunch. Here are carrots and lite dressing ready to go

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And pineapples ready to be chopped for the next day!

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We toured a few more schools and then had lunch at the second elementary school around 12:30

I requested a small scoop of ziti, two potato wedges, “a huuuuge pile of salad”, dressing on the side, and another of those delicious WW rolls. Plus CHOCO MILK!

[Yes, the staff knows about the blog so my camera was not given too many silly looks!]

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I only had a few sips of my milk but it was the perfect dessert

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A while later we did even more taste-testing at the high school. Frozen wild blueberries sprinkled with a light dusting of crunchy sugar sparkle were served as a side dish on the line. These were partially frozen and were SO GOOD! When you think about typical desserts, it’s cool to think of high schoolers getting so many nutrients from these [although I'm not sure how many students actually eat them for dessert as I did :) ]

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Next taste test: a few recipes one of the supervisors was testing for the menu rotation. He has a culinary degree and these were both fantastic. I had a bite of each.

Primavera Pasta Salad and Black Bean Salsa (likely to be served with corn chips)

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OK, it seems like I ate all.day.long….well, I guess I did! But I had small tastes so I never really felt that full.

Next up was a vegetable soup made in-house

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Warmed me right up ’cause I was fa-reezing

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I had forgotten how looooooooooooooooooooong working days are. I was ready to take a nap at 2PM from being up so early but the workday was not even close to being over!

4:30 finally did come around and I climbed into my car and made the 1.15 hour journey home.

Super Matt had the house all cozy for me (space heater on!!) and we started to assemble dinner right away. I made the call to skip yoga. My back has felt A-OKAY all day, but since so many of you recommended not pushing it, I’m giving another day to whatever might have broken yesterday. Plus Emily had to cancel, so it worked out well.

I had the most perfect dinner of my very favorite foods:

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A spinach, pear, veggie, and goat cheese salad with hard-boiled egg and hummus

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With a side of leftover acorn squash. The best acorn squash I have ever had!

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And a piece of Cinnamon Raisin Walnut toast with Superfruit Crofter’s spread

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To be honest, I wasn’t really that hungry when I got home and wolfed this down in complete emotional relief to be back at home. At least I was emotionally eating superfoods!

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Matt had an egg salad sandwich that was phenomenal as well

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I didn’t get that bubble bath last night because I ran out of time, so it’s def. on the agenda tonight. Plus reading in bed and lights out before 9 so I can get up at 4:45 to start the cycle all over again!

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{ 110 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Food Makes Fun Fuel January 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

The blueberries look yummy! Wish we had that for dessert at school

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2 Danielle (Coffee Run) January 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Congrats on the first day! :)
Those lunches look SO much healthier than our high school lunches. I’m glad they’re turning things around

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3 Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) January 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Wow I wish we had that kind of food back when I was in high school! Lucky kids!

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4 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

It’s so neat to see “behind the scenes” in the cafeteria. I had no idea there were so many healthy choices! It wasn’t like that when I went to school. Rarely would they have a salad day. It’s amazing how times have changed so quickly. I’m not that old :)

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5 Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

maybe you should dim the interior lights of your car and light some candles so you are in a more romantic mood for listening to twilight ;) hahaha! It’s so cheesy yet so good.

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6 Ashley January 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Your internship sounds pretty awesome! I’m glad they’re down with the blogging thing, because I’m looking forward to reading about what you’re doing. And that looks NOTHING like cafeteria food as I remember it…wow.

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7 Carolyn January 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Wish we’d had those healthy options when I was in school instead of pizza, fries, hamburgers, and snack cakes.

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8 Mama Pea January 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm

This gives me so much hope for my little peas!!!
I had a hairy day yesterday, like you, & thought, “This is what having a real job is like!!!” No thanks. ;)

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9 La January 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Honestly, I thought Twilight was really lame, and poorly written on top of that, but I read it because I worked with 12 year olds, and then because it was the only books we had while we were backpacking.

Your internship looks absolutely freaking awesome. This was a really fun read.

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10 Naomi (onefitfoodie) January 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm

whoa! I cannot believe the nutrititous options at the schools now adays! I remember back in school when they served chicken fingers and tator tots! sounds ilke you are having an amazing experience!!

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11 klm January 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm

geeeeeeeeez!! The real world seems so close!! I SO wish I was in the internship with you guys!! [insert sad here!]

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12 Kath January 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm

:( We miss you :(

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13 Sarah (OC2Seattle) January 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Thank goodness for audiobooks – they make long drives almost enjoyable. I just started “Elements of Style” which is pretty entertaining so far.

Impressed that the middle school has such healthy food!

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14 Estela @ Weekly Bite January 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Wow! What a day! So happy there are healthier choices in schools :)

Thanks for the recap! It was great!

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15 Wendy January 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I agree that the Twilight books aren’t particularly well-written, but somehow they were so addictive for me! I enjoyed the books but thought the first movie was only mediocre at best. I haven’t seen New Moon, but hear it is much better.

Your rotation sounds really interesting! I am amazed at the quality of the food offerings at the schools you visited today. The lunches at the middle school/high school I sub at aren’t nearly so good, though our small school district wouldn’t be able to employ someone w/a culinary degree! It will be interesting to see how the different schools you work at on this rotation compare w/each other. Are all the schools you’ll be working with in the same district/system?

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16 Kath January 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm

They are all in the same system since I’m working for the system. My next rotations are community and a hospital.

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17 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Sounds like you had an awesome experience! And I love that they seem to be cooperating *your* own unique style into the food service rotation (like photography and food tasting!)

Congrats on a great day! And kudos to you for being so upbeat about waking up early in the AM! :D

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18 RhodeyGirl January 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Are you going to take an Epsom Salt bath tonight like you used to do?!?!?

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19 Kath January 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm

If I can find some!

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20 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

So glad you had a good first day! First impressions make it great. :)

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21 Brittney January 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

It’s so good to see that there are healthy options offered at the schools you’re at. I hope the kids are taking advantage of it.

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22 Pat January 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Glad to hear you’re enjoying the audiobooks.

It takes a week or two to get used to being at work all day. Soon it won’t seem as long to you. It was fun seeing what they’re serving in schools these days. Much different than what we had that’s for sure.

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23 skinnyrunner January 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

thats so cool to see a behind the scenes view of a cafeteria! we didn’t have one in our small high school so this was esp interesting to me

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24 Karla January 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Twilight is soo cheesy I don’t think I could listen to it read outloud haha! I wouldn’t be able to handle it! I definitely have to read it on my own with no one around haha but I love it!

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25 Chanelle January 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm

KATH! You are living my dream! :)
congrats on finally being a DI and well on your way to the big RD!

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26 linda January 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm

What did you use to slice the acorn squash? The ridges are pretty.

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27 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

A knife!! That’s just how it is around the outside.

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28 Jill January 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Love that candle..looks like it lasts a long time. Mine burn down way to fast! Gotta start buying bigger ones.

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29 lynn (The Actors Diet) January 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

sorry your commute is annoying. if you need any good podcasts to listen to (that’s how i survive my car-crazy city of los angeles) i know a whole bunch!

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30 Elizabeth K January 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Hey Kath,
I’m in my DI right now in Long Island, NY. I completely understand how you feel, it’s exhausting being an intern yet really interesting at the same time. I just completed both my institutional and school food service rotations and the food served in your district looks MUCH better than where I was! My advice would be to ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to jump in and help out! The time will fly by and you’ll have alot more fun!
Elizabeth

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31 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:56 am

Thanks :)

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32 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope January 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Sounds like a busy day, but what a neat experience! It’s so neat that you’re getting a look at so many aspects of nutrition. And I’m totally impressed by the school’s selection of foods.

Glad to hear the back’s feeling better and hope it stays that way! :)

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33 Megan January 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Wow, that bluberry dessert looks delicious and healthy! Hopefully the kids try it out. :)

p.s. I LOVE hearing about your DI experiences every day – I’m in the process of applying for internships up in Canada at the moment, so its really great to hear someone else’s experiences. I try to read some other dietetic intern’s blogs, but haven’t found too many. Is there any that you’ve found that you read?
Thanks!

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34 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:56 am

The only other DI I know is Health Nut Em

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35 Tammy @ Defining Wellness January 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I am truly impressed with all of the healthy choices being offered at the schools!

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36 MH January 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm

School lunches have come a long way, I can remember Steak and Cheese Cosmos and Greasy pizza.

On a side note: I love the twilight series, but think that the first book is my least favorite. the movie is better, and so are the other three books :)

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37 Alyssa January 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm

As an elementary school teacher I am so impressed with the quality of school food you saw! I am constantly appalled by how unhealthy the food they give our kids is. Most of our kids are on the free lunch program so they eat breakfast and lunch at school, which is basically pure sugar. I hope eventually my district works with people like you! Glad you enjoyed your first day!

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38 Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 7, 2010 at 8:24 pm

i love how you always have a candle lit for dinner :)

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39 Nicole January 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Wow, I wish my school had lunches like the ones you tasted today!

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40 Jil January 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Long day indeed! My mom works in an elementary school and it always amazes me when she tells me about the foods the kids eat. They even had optional FETA the other day?! I remember my school lunches — leftover pizza, chicken fries, pancakes that were like rubber and apple crisp that was utterly unrecognizable. Kids now have got it made!

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41 Mae @ OhhMay January 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm

This is really neat! I interned with the food servise director at my school every morning last year… (ugg I don’t want to think about it- waking up at 4:45 to get there on time for an hour or so of interning before school started at 7:10…)
Anyway, everytime whole wheat, vegetarian options, gluten free options, FRESH fruit were brought up the answer was “too expensive. Nobody would like it.” It’s so refreshing to see schools incorporating these foods because kids WILL eat it!! Heck, look at what they eat now!! It’s not exactly a gastronomic experience.
Good luck with your commute… it sucks but soon it starts to fly by! (when I’m driving I practice speaking French ;-))

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42 Jenny January 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Wow it’s great to see schools implementing healthy foods in the cafeteria. Now the question is, do they still have soda machines and vending machines with candy in them??

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43 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:56 am

I seriously doubt it, although I’m not sure 100% for the high school.

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44 andrea January 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm

how do you make the squash you inspired me to buy one but have no clue how to tackle it?

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45 Amy January 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I wasn’t that impressed with Twilight at first either, but I’m willing to bet you’ll get sucked in to the story. Honestly, the writing itself isn’t good, but the story yanks you in! I read a TON of books and enjoyed the Twilight series purely for entertainment value. Don’t expect too much in terms of literary greatness and I bet you’ll enjoy them too!

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46 Casey January 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I know how you feel about the super long commute! Last semester I did my student teaching at a school that was an hour away from home. But It was a wonderful experience and wouldn’t change it for anything! I will be thinking about you and sending you good vibes while you make your commute!!!

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47 Melissa January 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Hi Kath – This is so great to hear about your experiences! I understand that your internships are required in order to get your R.D., but I was just wondering what is your role at the school? What type of work will you do throughout the day? Would love to hear more details!

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48 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:57 am

You’ll have to wait and see! i’m not quite sure myself.

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49 Lauren January 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm

That squash is so pretty…. like little flowers decorating the plate!

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50 Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run January 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm

You must be exhausted! Sounds tiring, especially the 2.5 hrs. of driving =( Nothing like a color, uber-healthy dinner to end the day!

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51 Kristin January 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm

That looks like a great school lunch. Better than most.

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52 Gina January 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

do you season your acorn squash with anything?

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53 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:57 am

Rubbed in canola, salt, pepper

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54 Lisa January 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Color me jealous. I teach Head Start in DC and the food we get is NOTHING like the food at that school. There’s a huge disparity in school foodservice. I’m glad your schools are moving in the right direction.

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55 Cynthia (It All Changes) January 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Wow the school lunches where I taught were never that good. And I’m glad that the school staff knows about your blog and will understand all the food pics. How cool for us to see all the great stuff those schools are offering to teach kids healthy habits.

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56 Paris Food Blague@the Paris Food Blague January 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm

it is so great to here that the school serves healthy food! this is an issue that really worries me…and i remember lots of school lunches involving greasy pizza and cheesy fries, back when i was a child. sigh.

by the way, back in the 80s, did you know that ronald reagan pushed for schools to consider ketchup a vegetable???

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57 Jenn (www.j3nn.net) January 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Oh my, what a day! I bet it feels good to be home. All of the food looks yummy!

Jenn

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58 Paris Food Blague@the Paris Food Blague January 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

by the way, here is a good oped that alice waters wrote for the nytimes last year…it’s on the nutritional quality of school lunches. it might interest you?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/opinion/20waters.html?_r=1

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59 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:57 am

Thanks!

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60 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

My son is in middle school and I don’t think they eat anything like that! I am glad the day went well after all! Enjoy your bath and good luck tomorrow!

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61 Angie January 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Love sharing your day!!

Get some rest, sounds like another busy day is ahead of you tomorow!

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62 Sally Mae January 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Thank you for sharing your day! I am a first year teacher at a middle school and I am seriously bothered by the food that is served at school. I would NEVER eat in the cafeteria. I am glad to hear about schools that do serve healthy food. Your job sounds awesome. When I went back to college I was seriously torn between studying dietetics or art education (funny choice, I know) and I chose art ed, but I still LOVE food. And, nutrition is so important for growing kids!

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63 Jenny January 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm

That is really impressive about the school cafeterias, good to know that schools are paying more attention to nutrition at least in some states!

I made acorn squash that way tonight. I never new I would love it this much! It was awesome :)

Have a good night!

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64 Amanda January 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

OMG, 4:45!? You are a rock star. I would never be able to manage that.

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65 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I work at an elementary school and I have seen their lunches – nothing like those lunches you wrote about. And many parents send kids to school with lunches full of junk and sugar.. and then they wonder why the kids are having such a hard time paying attention..it drives me crazy. But i’m glad to see there are schools that serve nutritious AND delicious (because what child is going to eat something that tastes bad) food!

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66 Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) January 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

It is extremely refreshing to see such healthy eats available in public schools. Nothing but crap was available when I was in HS. Stuff like 24 oz. sodas, cookies, pizza, etc. It’s nice to see some efforts being made toward the greater nutritional good.

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67 Ali@ Food, Fitness, Fashion January 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Glad your first day was great! PS love your blazer!

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68 LindsayRuns January 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Oh if only the school I work at had food like that. I wouldn’t have to pack my lunch either.

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69 Christy January 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I haven’t seen such GREAT, HEALTHY, TASTY, school food in my entire life! I wish my school cafeteria had goodies like that!

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70 Erin January 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Wow, school lunches definitely weren’t that healthy (or delicious looking) when I was a student. They didn’t even look that good at my university most of the time!

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71 Lorin January 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Wow! That food looks really good! I am a senior in high school and our school has decent food (mostly healthy breakfast choices) but it is definately not as tasty as that looks! However, I do bring lunch to school but I have had the lunches before. Maybe it’s because I’m in California, where there’s a bigger debt, thus less money for healthy, quality meals?

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72 Tracey January 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Our food so did not look like that.

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73 Jenna January 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

What a busy day kath! You must be pooped! Your day touring the school sounds like a lot of fun though!
Great salad! Get to bed and get some sleep for tomorrow!!
Jenna

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74 Sam @ Happy Shoes January 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm

That jacket is really cute.

So I made egg salad for the first time on Tuesday and it was really disgusting. :) Would you mind sharing Matt’s recipe? I would love to try it as soon as I can stand being around eggs again.

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75 Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. January 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Are those styrofoam trays and bowls? If they are you have a huge chance to lead! Bring your own bowl, plate, silverware and cup and lead by example. Reduce. Reuse. – I have the use to write Peace Out, but that might just be becuase you channeled my inner middle schooler.

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76 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:59 am

Yes and funny you should mention them because that’s the first thing I noticed. We used to recycle everything when I was in middle school, so I didn’t know why they were throwing them away. One of my projects is now to research foam alternatives and the cost and labor implications :)

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77 Chelsea January 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Wow-that school system is IMPRESSIVE. I can tell you that food DID NOT look like that when I was in school. That’s awesome about the baked oatmeal, the menu, and the photography!

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78 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) January 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm

It sounds like a busy day for you – I can understand being tired! I hope that you get lots of good rest tonight! The food that they serve in the school system looks extremely nutritious AND delicious, too.

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79 Alison January 7, 2010 at 11:27 pm

what a great school lunch menu. i remember eating french fries and chocolate chip cookies when i was that age for lunch. oh how eating choices change!

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80 Lindsay January 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I just wanted to say hi! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I just wanted to say that I love it :) I finished my DI last June, I totally remember my school food service rotation, your pictures brought back all my foodservice memories! We got to try their food as well and it was so nice to not pack everyday :) Anyway, have fun with it and good luck with the rest of your internship. You’ll do great!!

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81 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:59 am

Hi and thanks!

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82 Nancey January 8, 2010 at 12:07 am

Do you have a good egg salad recipe or can you share the one used for Matt’s dinner? I love creamy egg salad but can’t ever seem to get the right consistency/taste without adding a LOT of mayo.

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83 Carissa @ Fit To Indulge January 8, 2010 at 12:24 am

The food looks yummy. Way better than when I was in junior high. Community and school rotations are less than appealing to me.. I hope through your experience I can get more interested in that side of dietetics. :)

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84 Mastering Public Health January 8, 2010 at 12:42 am

Wow. I’m pretty sure I ate smashed (white) bagel-and-cheese sandwiches and big, softm doughy chocolate-chip cookies every week in high school. French fries, chicken fingers… can’t remember anything even remotely like what you experienced today. Times, they are a-changin’!

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85 Run Sarah January 8, 2010 at 1:45 am

How fun! The only thing I ate at my school caf was french fries…yum :) Your dinner salad looks awesome.

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86 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) January 8, 2010 at 1:45 am

Where in the WORLD is this middle school and why didn’t I go there!?!? I hope my future kids get these goodies for lunch!

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87 colleen January 8, 2010 at 2:34 am

wow the schools out there must be an exception the lunches here in Ca are awful, I wish I could send you a copy of the menu. I let my 5 yr old buy once a week and feel bad about that! The other 4 I pack her lunch. We looked at the menu for Friday: Fried bean burrito or chicken nuggets, I say yuck, she says please, I say NO. BTW the breakfast for Friday: Bar shaped doughnut, and the snack for the after school program a Brownie. Imagine , some kids will eat all this and then have Mcdonalds or Pizza for dinner. I hope the choices your schools have will make it over to us soon. I found the link: http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/node/72

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88 Kath January 8, 2010 at 6:00 am

WoW! Donuts and brownies!

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89 Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com January 8, 2010 at 2:45 am

4.45! OUCH! You are Superwoman!
Your day loos awesome yesterday, so fun! I think, despite the long days and that, you’re going to have a great time. It’s SO much easier to work hard when the work is fun :)
Well done on your first day! (and the delicious dinner, that does look good)
Have a good one tomorrow!

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90 Kath January 8, 2010 at 5:58 am

Re. Egg Salad: I don’t know his recipe, but when I make it I always put mustard, a wee bit of mayo (or greek yogurt!), and DILL. Plus some spice like cayenne or paprika, salt and pepper.

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91 Kaci January 8, 2010 at 6:54 am

That day sounds like it was intense, but I’m so glad you were able to take pictures & document it all! I wish my grade-schools had awesome food like that when I was there! :)

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92 Diana January 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

wow! sounds like a busy and exciting day!
when I was in highschool all they served were muffins and french fries.
how times have changed!
Diana

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93 Kalli@fitandfortysomething January 8, 2010 at 8:37 am

I am a middle school teacher and our lunches are NOT even close to being tha healthy. Hmmmm, why are we missing out?

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94 Nicole January 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

Twilight is really just pure entertainment. Keep going the story will draw you in. I agree with another post the first movie was okay but if you read the book it was easier to understand why Edward made that face he did most of the movie..lol. Can’t wait for the second one but I am totally team Jacob.
Can’t believe all the good stuff at that school. I remember mostly pizza, tater tots, and hash browns at mine..lol.

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95 Heather (The Single Dish) January 8, 2010 at 9:40 am

How does Matt make his egg salad?

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96 Allison K January 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

I have to agree with everyone else, That food is AMAZING for a school system. When I was straight out of college I was an AmeriCorp member, stationed at an Elementary School. My main focus was on literacy, but as a “volunteer” i did a little bit of everyone, including helping the lunch lady set out lunch. Because I was a small charter school (public though, and part of the school district) the school wasn’t big enough for a kitchen, so everything had to be delievered each day.
The one thing I couldn’t believe, and still can’t is that tater tots get to count as a vegetable.
Seriously?

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97 Kelly January 8, 2010 at 11:27 am

Sounds like a long day!! Is what your doing part of the schooling your doing? Or work? I’m fairly new to the blog and I am very curious! :) That dinner looks delicious. I think I need to start eating squash more! You eat the outside and all, right? Hope today is going well for you!

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98 Kath January 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

This is a dietetic internship as part of my graduate degree (that I may or may not finish) and the last piece before I am R.D.-exam eligible.

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99 Jill January 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Hi Kath -
Congratulations on starting your internship! I am a dietitian and I work at a state agency that monitors child nutrition programs. I was so excited to see that school nutrition was your first rotation! I think you will love it – lunch ladies are a lot of fun! ;) I have been following your blog for awhile now and it is great. Good luck to you!

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100 Katelynn January 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I have been following your blog for some time not but have never posted. I felt compelled to when I saw the DOLE pineapples that you photographed at the school. I work for Dole, selling pineapple ( I know it sounds weird but it is a corporate sales position) and my sales are primarily to foodservice providers, some of which are right in that area. I was soooo excited to see my product at the destination of the final consumer. I love that I work for a company that support healthy eating and lifestyles and seeing my pineapple as a healthy choice in that school made my day!! :)

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101 Kath January 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Fun :)

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102 Jess January 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hi, just came across your blog and read your bio… that is exactly what I’m about to embark on (HOPEFULLY!) I’m applying to Boston University’s didactic nutrition program (liberal arts graduate but biology degree) that is 2.5 years plus DI. I hope to be as successful as you :)

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103 Nicole (dishin') January 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Looks like a fun (but long) day! I hope it gets easier…

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104 Kathleen January 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Umm..those school lunches have come a long way from when I was in high school. My private school was pretty small so they just ordered in pizza (from Dominos) and sold it by the slice and the public school I transferred to had really bad choices! Most of my friends ate Sunchips, bagels and cream cheese, Hot Pockets, pizza and pretzels with cheese for lunch because the hot lunch was so disgusting. Glad to see positive changes in how we feed growing minds and bodies!

Also…not to start any big discussion, but hang in there with Twilight. It’s not for everyone but once you get past the first book…Eclipse and Breaking Dawn (books 3 and 4) are my favorites! Twilight is a lot of introductory stuff and New Moon is emotionally draining but Meyers wrote Eclipse and Breaking Dawn first, then went back and wrote Twilight and New Moon so the first two books are like catchup, fill-in-the-blank for the series and might be why they are not as enthralling!

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105 Kelly January 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

WOW…that is some fancy school food! If all school’s had meals that healthy maybe America wouldn’t be in as bad of shape as we are in…pun INTENDED!

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106 Patty January 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

The Twilight books were some of the most poorly written books I’ve ever read – but I did read all four, b/c I was tired of not knowing what everyone was talking about. They are very quick reads. Adult women I work with (smart lawyers & paralegals) were absolutely obsessed and constantly referenced the story. I will say the author came up with a great, catchy plot! She obviously struck a major cord and I admire her for that.

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107 eatingRD January 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Glad you had a nice day in the schools! Boy the middle schools we go to for our calcium program in Vegas never have lunches that look that tasty!! All of it looks wonderful! How large is the district?

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108 Kath January 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Im’ not sure the # of students yet, but there are 35 schools.

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109 Jess (What's Normal, Anyways?) January 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I’m a bit behind in reading and commented, but couldn’t resist “back commenting” on your interesting internship. I’m a high school teacher at a rural high school in North Central Florida (outside of Gainesville) and it’s very interesting being around “school food” again after being outside the primary and secondary education systems for nearly 6 years before getting my teachers license.

Our district (I teach in the same district I was once a student in) has always done a great job with the low quality food they are allotted by the state budget and our cafeteria manger tries his best, but while the meals taste great they still aren’t always nutritionally sound. I try not to eat them much myself, because of hidden calories.

Have you gotten any actual budget info from these schools? What are they doing to actually buy fresh fruits and veggies? Especially in the middle of winter! That is awesome!

PS. Twilight is around a 7th grade reading level, fyi….the only book I genuinely enjoyed was Breaking Dawn…so good luck. New Moon was a highly entertaining movie, when you get there!

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110 Kath January 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Jess,
I’m not sure about budget or distribution yet.

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