2007 Golden Carrot Award Winners
Grand Prize Winner
Betty Shabazz International Charter School/Barbara Sizemore Academy of BSICS
Head Chef: Stuart Spears (Betty Shabazz) and Glendora Green (Barbara Sizemore)
All the food served at Betty Shabazz International Charter School and its sister school, Barbara Sizemore Academy of BSICS, is vegetarian, and vegan options are offered daily. Daily entrée menu offerings include low-fat options such as sloppy Joes, veggie burgers and dogs, “steak” sandwiches, burritos, veggie gumbo with tofu, jerk tofu, curry tofu with noodles, pinto beans and rice with collards and corn bread, and vegetarian soups. Soy and rice milk and juice are available at no additional cost to students, and fresh fruit and a garden salad are provided daily. The vegetarian items are discussed as part of the schoolwide science and health curricula.
Berkeley Public Schools
Director of Nutrition Services: Ann Cooper
More than 10,000 students are served through the Berkeley public school system. Vegetarian entrées are offered daily, and non-dairy items are offered two to three times a week. Vegetarian items include baked pasta with fresh veggies, veggie pot pie, barbecue tofu, and veggie lo mein. Every school has a salad bar and all hot entrées come with a vegetable side. Soymilk is available at high school snack bar and water and juice are available at all other locations.
Vegetarian options are promoted in several different ways: through the district’s calendar menu, which includes a list of veggie offerings; the “meal wheel,” which encourages students to consume three to five fruits and four to nine vegetables daily; and vegetarian-based cooking and gardening programs. All vegetables are organic and the schools spend more than $100,000 a year to procure vegetables from local farmers.
The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle
Food Service Coordinator: Dana Rigato
The menu at this school is completely kosher and vegetarian. Entrées include Griller burgers, “chicken” nuggets, spaghetti, hummus with whole wheat pita, and rice bowls made of brown rice, oven roasted vegetables and flavored tofu. The school also offers a full salad bar featuring greens, legumes, raw vegetables, grain and lentil salads, tofu, granola, and fruit.
Recent changes were made to the menu when a group of students wrote an essay on healthy school lunches. Rigato responded immediately by “test-marketing” a salad bar, then reviewing and changing the program. She added fun new items such as the brown rice bowls and purged any questionable items, including tater tots, fish sticks, and chocolate milk. The school does not serve fried foods, and canned goods, white flour, and sugar are not used in the kitchen.
Valley Forge Middle School
Guidance Counselor: Sheri DeMaris
Science teacher: Lisa Norley
Every Monday, Sheri DeMaris and Lisa Norley host the “Healthy Kids in the Kitchen” afternoon club at Valley Forge Middle School. Through the club, students prepare nutritious vegan meals for students in an after-school homework program. The student chefs prepare healthy meals such as curried green salad, veggie wraps, and red lentil and winter squash soup with garlic bread. The students have learned about food preparation, healthy diets, and how to read food labels. The Healthy Kids in the Kitchen club have also created a cookbook and DVD.
Cambridge Public Schools
Nutritionist: Dawn Olcott
Cambridge Public Schools recently added several vegetarian items to the menu, including freshly made vegan lentil soup, veggie wraps, and vegetarian chili. Feature local produce, such as apples, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potato “fries,” roasted butternut squash, and salads with grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and chick peas, is offered whenever possible. Juice is available as a nondairy beverage at no additional cost.
Olcott, a nutritionist who works with Cambridge Public Schools, developed and implemented a taste-testing process to pilot new recipes and let the students participate in creating a healthier menu. The newly developed lentil soup went through extensive taste-testing at each of the 11 K-8 schools. The veggie wraps have also been promoted extensively, with small samples being offered on Tuesdays to promote veggie wrap sales on Wednesdays.