This week I was given the opportunity to sample a couple of options that may be introduced into the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) system lunch menu next school year. I arrived at Hunters Creek Middle School, and made my way to the food truck. I brought my 9-year-old daughter with me to give these new ideas a try, as I felt it was important to get her input, too.
All three of the potential dishes are Asian inspired, and they were each pretty good.
The first offering we tried was an Green Bean Chicken Casser-bowl. It’s a casserole type dish with rice, green beans, and chicken nuggets. It was ok, but not something I think the kids will eat.
The next dish we tried was an Warm Asian Chicken Salad, made with romaine lettuce, rice, and chicken pieces served with an Asian sauce. This we liked. The crisp lettuce went well with the chicken, and it was both tasty and healthy.
The third dish was Asian Beef Teriyaki. The beef was too processed, but was glazed with a nice teriyaki sauce. I also think there are too many veggies in this dish. It was ok, but not something I think the kids would eat.
The kids of Orange county that did eat at the food truck actually get to vote on which dish they liked best. The winning option will be integrated into the school lunch menus for the 2015 – 2016 school year. My daughter’s favorite was the Asian Chicken salad, and I agree with her. We hope that is what is the winner. I think it would be the easiest to put into the school cafeteria environment. It’s one thing to make a couple hundred servings on a truck. It’s another to put it into a school with 1200 or more kids.
I was excited to do this tasting, because it makes me, as a parent, happy to see that my school district is trying to expand the options of what choices the kids have to eat. There are many days where my kids come home starving because they say the lunch was just too gross to eat.
Thanks to OCPS for inviting me to try out the new menu items with the kids. I hope this system of introducing new menu items pays off with healthy food items that the kids will want to eat. Thanks also for this interesting infographic showing how the requirements for school lunches have changed over the years:
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