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Chattooga Schools Nutrition Department Excited About Healthy Foods

Food can be healthy and tasty, is the concept the nutrition team is trying to prove that to Chattooga students, while still complying with USDA regulations regarding the National School Lunch Program.

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Chattooga Schools Nutrition Department has been trying to bring new flavors to students and get them excited about eating healthy foods in the cafeterias. The group realizes there is a stigma surrounding “school lunch” and are trying to change that.

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Food can be healthy and tasty, is the concept the nutrition team is trying to prove that to Chattooga students, while still complying with USDA regulations regarding the National School Lunch Program. “The goal is to try new recipes and offer foods students have been known to love,” School Nutrition Director, Brandie Wooten said.

According to Wooten, as of now, Lyerly is offering two salad options. They’re available to students in grades 6-8 and of course, teachers. At LES, the school offering a popcorn chicken garden salad and a Goldfish cracker garden salad. The goldfish garden salad contains all the same contents of a regular garden salad, but the goldfish crackers take the place of croutons. According to Jessica Cabe, cafeteria manager at LES, “the kids love it!”

Menlo is also offering salads to grades 6-8 and teachers. The Chef salad has green salad mixture, grilled chicken strips, cherry tomatoes, boiled egg slices, bacon bits, cheese, and croutons. They will also offer a popcorn chicken salad, grilled chicken salad, and chicken tender salad. The goal is to have one salad option offered daily.

CHS is offering popcorn chicken salads, grilled chicken salads, garden salad w/ diced ham, and chicken tender salads as well. These will be offered two or three times throughout the week for now. Chattooga Nutrition has created a Google form for students to submit their lunch orders on a daily basis and we are encouraging students to utilize this tool so the cafeteria will know how many salads to prepare. If we see an increase in interest regarding the salads at CHS, we would love to be able to offer them daily.

SMS will be offering salads a couple of times per week. Salad options will include popcorn chicken salad, garden salad w/ diced ham, and grilled chicken salad.

While LMES does not offer salads, they do offer the students’ favorite meal as often as possible. “I’ll give you one guess what that could be… Pizza! The kids love it,” Wooten said.

Despite the challenges school nutrition has faced since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020, Wooten says the team is off to a good start this school year. “Each member of our nutrition team has expressed on multiple occasions how excited they are to be back in school. We love seeing “our kids”. We’re happy to serve them and so glad we get to be a part of their growth and development.”

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Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Manager for AllOnGeorgia.

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