SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Oyster River Elementary School Students Create Lunch Menus Focused on Nutrition
DURHAM — Upcoming lunch menus will look a little different this year — they’ll feature items selected by Oyster River elementary school students.
The November and December lunch menus, which were designed by Moharimet Elementary School third and fourth grade students, are centered on providing students with healthy and nutritious options.
“Students love to have input in what they will be eating, and are quick to let us know what they prefer,” said Doris Demers, Child Nutrition Director for Oyster River. “Gone are the days when chicken nuggets were the first day of school menu staple. Our cooks are no longer surprised when students eat up veggies that they would never touch in the past.”
While students are particularly interested in selecting breakfast items — like bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches — they’ve also enjoyed incorporating foods like Brussels sprouts, carrots, edamame and mango into their lunches.
The menu planning project is part of an effort by Demers, physical education teacher Jessica Whalen and University of New Hampshire dietetic intern Sarah Thibeault to raise a healthier generation.
In order to create each month’s menu, Demers visits third and fourth grade gym classes to meet with students. Together the groups brainstorm ideas and vote on food choices, with the most popular earning a spot on the menu. As part of the planning process, Demers ensures that all colors and food groups are represented.
Over the past six years, offerings in Oyster River’s lunch rooms have progressed to more fresh and local options. The district now works with New Hampshire Farm to School to bring farm to table items to the cafeteria, along with the UNH Thompson School of Applied Science, which supplies schools with hydroponically grown greenhouse vegetables.
Since the move to more nutritious eating, students are treated to fresh chicken tenders that are hand breaded and baked in the oven, baked salmon and can choose from a variety of salad ingredients from their school’s garden bar.
Mast Way Elementary School students will also participate in lunch menu planning project in early 2019.