YUHSD student nutrition department continues to add new menu options
In an effort to encourage more students to eat breakfast and lunch at school, the Yuma Union High School District student nutrition department has made a variety of additions to its menu for the 2019-2020 school year.
Some of the new items include: Large cereal bowls, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turkey Panini melts, meatball subs, spaghetti, rolled tacos, new fries and potato wedges, fruit cups and much more.
Student Nutrition Director Grace Pruit, who is entering her second year in the role, prioritized upgrading some of the menu options last year when more than two dozen items were added to the menu. Many of those items, such as the Buffalo chicken wrap and the chili cheese fries, quickly became favorites among the student population on each campus. In some cases more than 20,000 such meals were served in a given month.
“Our focus for the start of the year is on the quality of our subs by adding new subs, sandwiches, melts, and Paninis, as well as improving the bread quality,” Pruit said. “All these items were added based on the student requests from our survey in January.”
Some new menu items like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some cereals include peanuts or other nuts. Pruit said her department and staff at each campus have taken strict measures to make sure students who have nut allergies are safe. They implemented an industry standard red-dot system which indicates that an item includes nuts. Each serving station has labels signaling what items include nuts and have had additional cross-contamination safety training for all staff members who handle food. Furthermore, as an additional safety precaution, some campuses have discussed implementing so-called “nut-free tables” available for students to dine.
“It’s been an item that students have indicated that they like,” Pruit said. “It’s something they had in middle school and there are definitely nutritional benefits, such as protein, potassium, fiber and iron, to offering peanut butter and nut mixes as part of our menus. Our students are still growing and developing and some of those nutrients are vital.”
All six YUHSD campuses offer no cost breakfast and lunch to all students, something that has been in place since 2017-2018.
“Statics confirm that students with proper nutrition perform better in the classroom,” Pruit added. “Having the ability to offer meals at no cost to every student is important to the success of our students. Providing breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snacks at no cost allows Yuma Union High School District students the opportunity to focus on their academics and not worrying about meals during the school day.”
Here is a complete list of new menu items added since the start of last school year:
2019/2020 New Menu Items
Large Cereal Bowls
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Turkey Panini Melt
French Bread Subs
New Fries and Potato Wedges
GF Chicken Tenders
2018/2019 New Menu Items
Chorizo and Egg Burrito
Mini Cinnis Roll
Bagel with Nutella
Go Big Strawberry Yogurt
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
YoGo Coffee Coolers
Protein Breakfast Box
Cocoa Puffs Filled Bar
Cinnamon Toast Filled Bar
Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wrap
Chili Cheese Fries
Loaded Baked Potato
Macaroni & Cheese
Shredded Turkey Taco
Cheese Enchiladas with Red or Green Sauce
Stuffed Crust Pizza
Raspberry Vinaigrette Chicken Salad
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
BLT Chicken Caesar Salad
Buffalo Chicken Salad