As part of Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Fresh Attitude Week Showcase, the Food and Nutritional Services Department welcomed a visiting delegation of French foodservice professionals. The mission of the visit was for the French foodservice professionals to observe firsthand some best practices, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas that can improve programs in France and beyond.
School visited by the group included Driftwood Middle School, where the delegation observed the school’s hydroponic garden and watched a video about this health magnet school. A health and nutrition presentation on the subject “Farm to School, Family Nutrition Program and More” was conducted by Brenda Marty Jimenez and Beth Owens from the University of Florida IFAS Partnership.
The delegation then visited McNicol Middle School to learn about the Wellness in the Schools (WITS™) initiative, including a culinary demo with students led by WITS Chefs Jason Bryson and Lenora Azpurua. The group visited Colbert Elementary where they enjoyed fresh Florida Blueberries as part of the District’s Monthly Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Tastings, a USDA Best Practice. They observed Melissa Edwards, Cafeteria Manager, teaching students about the positive health benefits of fresh blueberries.
For lunch, the delegation was treated to a cooking demonstration by Celebrity Chef Rudy Poindexter of the Food Network’s “Chopped” fame. Chef Poindexter prepared a healthy jambalaya recipe at South Broward High School. The group enjoyed the jambalaya, along with roasted hummus wraps, Asian kale salad, roasted dill carrots, broccoli and watermelon, all part of the high school menu at BCPS.
The day ended at Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale with the National Nutrition Month Poster Contest award presentation to fifth grade District winner Sofie Heggenhougen. The contest was judged by representatives from the Broward Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who selected one winner in each grade, as well as one grand prize winner from BCPS. The contest was sponsored by the Broward Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Broward Regional Health Planning Council.
BCPS Food & Nutrition Services encourages students to “Power Up!” with healthy and nutritious meals during the school day. BCPS alone serves nearly 145,000 school lunches every day.