I finally had an opportunity to spend more time at Bolton Academy last week. It is a lovely school in a gorgeous neighborhood rich with lots of diversity. In addition to wanting to see the school’s academic program, I wanted lunch! Whenever I visit schools I always try to get a better understanding of the food choices offered, especially to our elementary school students.
I have to say that the cafeteria is one of the most inviting, bright and welcoming of all the elementary school cafeterias I’ve seen thus far. They have great big windows that look out over greenery and fill the room with light. Bolton is considered one of our newer buildings, built in the early 2000s.
I wanted to try as many of the meal options as possible which included a chicken sandwich on wheat bread, pepperoni pizza, french fries, green beans, coleslaw and of course my reduced sodium and reduced sugar, fat-free chocolate milk.
I’ve been pretty open on my blog before about how unsatisfying the french fries are in our schools for the student and for me. I really wish we could get this particular food offering right. I’ve reached out again to my nutrition team and encouraged them to be more consistent from school to school. The pizza for elementary students was very different from what we offer at our high schools and my solitary little pepperoni left me a little sad. But most disappointing was the coleslaw. One thing I know we can get right here in the southern United States is our coleslaw! Of course I requested the recipe and it had plenty of good cabbage in it, so maybe it’s the reduced fat mayo mixed with the cider or the garlic powder, but something just wasn’t right. I reached out to our nutrition director and suggested that hold a contest for a new coleslaw recipe that meets our nutritional standards. I just know someone’s mom, dad or grandma has a recipe that our kids will love. I was very excited to learn that our food and nutrition leadership is already on top of collecting recipes and testing them. I do hope they add coleslaw to that list. I’ve added it to my collection of least favorite choices. Maybe it’s the recipe; maybe it’s the preparation; maybe it’s a combination of both but here’s the icky recipe we use (see photo).
Principal Strickland was a great host and the school was full of color and happiness. She knows all the students and the students adore their teachers. Their cute mascot, “Hooty the Owl” was everywhere, and I loved the mural of children in the entrance. An International Baccalaureate school offering the Primary Years Program, the hallways boasted strong statements that encouraged students to be good to themselves and others.
It was clear to me that Principal Strickland and her staff are grooming critical thinkers with a global mindset. Maybe they could travel to the Netherlands, believed to the originators of coleslaw, and bring back a great recipe!